Gather & Swap: Stir up your favorite recipes and invite your friends to do the same. I think I am doing this in December because it looks fun and is not as cumbersome as a dinner. And I like that you get an assortment of cookies for the holidays without having to do 10 batches! Just think… coffee, cocoa, eggnog and COOKIES! Okay, let’s not forget the wine too! LOL!
Anyhow, here are some tips from online in case people wanted to plan one:
- Send invitations three to four weeks in advance, before friends’ schedules fill up. On the invitations, be sure to include how many cookies to bring (ask for homemade), specifics on packaging the cookies, and any other special features you plan for the event.
- Ask each attendee to bring at least three dozen cookies to make sure everyone has plenty of cookies to take home. If you plan to serve some at the party, ask guests to bring an extra dozen or two for a sampling buffet.
- Make the cookie exchange the entertainment at your gathering, or plan the exchange as a bonus to a caroling, tree-trimming, or sledding party.
- Serve an assortment of holiday foods and beverages appropriate to the time of day and level of formality you desire. Suggestions: a holiday tea party, an appetizer and drinks soiree, a casual open house, a festive salad luncheon, or a lazy weekend brunch.
- If kids are invited, plan an activity such as a cookie-decorating contest or story hour, or make sure games are available. Be ready to serve child-friendly foods and beverages.
- Highlight the stars of the party (the cookies) with pretty serving plates and dishes. Provide cake stands, large parfait glasses, clear-glass bowls, and baskets lined with holiday linens.
- Send your guests — and their cookies — home in fine style by supplying pretty packages for the cookies. Hand-stamped bags, clear holiday boxes decorated with decals, Chinese-food takeout containers, or inexpensive plastic carryalls garnished with ribbons and bows all make pretty carrying cases.
- And this tip is my own: Remember those with dietary restrictions and make sure there is an assortment of cookies they can sample too (i.e. diabetics need sugar free, vegans need a cookie using no eggs or milk, and those with Celiacs disease need gluten-free).