One event I look forward to the entire year is my annual cookie swap- I have been hosting it for 14 years and I will admit, it’s become a bit legendary. Every year, the cookies get better (if that’s even possible), the presentations get more elaborate, and the competition to win a prize gets more and more fierce. We actually have one attendee who isn’t eligible to win anymore because she ALWAYS wins!
You can imagine that due to the festive intensity, I personally feel the pressure to make each cookie swap prettier and more clever than the previous year’s. But don’t get me wrong, this is where I thrive and I love it!
Invite early: The holidays fill up fast so I like to use www.evite.com so the guests can reply with their cookie type. This way we avoid any duplicates! It also gives the guests time to think about the cookie.
This cookie swap was featured on Style Me Pretty Living and we had to share the delicious details with you:
Decorate: I thoroughly believe a front door should NEVER be overlooked- it’s the first place to start decorating and the best opportunity to set the tone for your party
More than Cookies: My particular group of elves are wine lovers (some years, more wine gets consumed than cookies!) so I always provide savory snacks and plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages.
Decorate Some More: I’m anti “matchy-matchy” so I mix textures, colors, and styles; a traditional nutcracker is happy near mistletoe and a modern “Merry” sign.
Make Some Rules: Take it from one who knows: stick to a guest list (I have a strict no kids policy- my friends thank me for it every year), insist that everyone declare their cookies before-hand to avoid too much of a good thing, and don’t be afraid to be a little bossy (clear cookie swap directions help everyone know what to do besides eat cookies!).
This chalkboard sign is a lifesaver for so many parties I host and this fete is no exception. After step 2, things can get a bit hard to remember!
Set Guests up for Success: Most of my guests are cookie swap regulars so they know to bring a platter for display and containers for taking the goodies home but I always keep extras on hand- someone always has a cookie emergency and arrives frazzled…we welcome her with open arms and shower her with praise for even making it to the party at all!
Create a Packing Station: I’m a fan of efficiency so I set up a place for my guests to pack their cookies in individual boxes, making them ready to share immediately; we usually walk away with more cookies than we could possibly eat ourselves (yes, we let our families indulge…sometimes) so most of us plan to gift cookies to neighbors and co-workers.
My dogs Sissy and Buddy wish they could come in and party but…the cookie swap would end up in sheer chaos and I would be legendary for other reasons!
In case you want to “steal” my directions for the evite- here you go!
Like with any good recipe, it is better when you read the directions…-RSVP with the cookie you are bringing. First come first served on what you select- so check out to make sure that someone else does not pick the cookie you want to bake.