8 Tips to Help You Host the ULTIMATE Cookie Exchange Party. I’ve been hosting an annual cookie exchange party for the past nine years and I am sharing all of my Cookie Exchange Party tips!
Tips from NINE Years of Hosting Cookie Parties
One of my favorite days of the year is my annual cookie exchange!! This will be my NINTH year hosting and it is SO fun to spend time with friends and neighbors. I love meeting new friends each year too! Over the years I’ve discovered ways to make hosting the cookie exchange easier and less stressful. I am sharing all of my tips with you today so you can host a cookie exchange of your own!
Use Social Media for Your Cookie Exchange Party
Make an invitation
I use editing programs like Picmonkey or Canva. You can make an invitation from scratch or they have free templates that make creating a cookie exchange invitation a breeze! Then send your invitation out through email or on your social channels.
Have Guests RSVP
You can have people RSVP through a service like eventbrite. If you only have room for a certain number of people, you can create that number and when people register you will see how many people have RSVP’d and you can set a limit on the number of guests. Also – if you don’t want to put personal information out on social media like your address, you can send people to the eventbrite link and they will get the address when they register. Eventbrite also will send your guests a reminder before the event to remind them about your cookie exchange party. It’s free.
Set up A Facebook or Instagram Group for Your Party
You can also set up a facebook or instagram group with the people invited to the party. You can remind people about the party through messages in the group. And after the party you can have everyone share photos from the event in the group.
Make a Hashtag for Your Cookie Party
You can also make a hashtag for your party — like #jenscookieexchange and if everyone follows the hashtag they will see all of the posts that people put up from the party.
Allow Your Guests to Bring a Friend
Some of your guests might be shy or you might not know them very well. You can allow them to bring a guest to make them feel more comfortable. This is a good idea if you are inviting a large number of people you don’t now well. Like a neighborhood group, or in my case I invite my blog readers. I think telling them they can bring a guest makes them feel more comfortable about coming to an event where they might not not people.
Party Food for a Holiday Cookie Exchange
Create a buffet of simple food for your guests. If you are having a party in the morning you can have some breakfast foods like muffins and donuts and a hot cocoa bar. If you are having a lunch-time or dinner-time cookie exchange you can have easy finger foods and appetizers plus punch. Keep it simple. Most guests will not be coming to eat, but to socialize and exchange cookies.
One year I ordered cakes and then put little gingerbread houses on top for the exchange!
Here are some recipe ideas for cookie exchange parties:
Tables for a Holiday Cookie Exchange
You will need several tables or counter spaces for different uses. You will need a space for your guests to display their cookies and you might need a couple of tables, depending on how many guests you invite. You will need another table for your food and drinks.
Boxes for Guests to Gather Cookies
You can ask your guests to bring an empty container to bring their cookies home in. Or you can provide a container. I usually get paper gift boxes and give one to each guest.
Party Decorations for a Holiday Cookie Exchange
You can decorate your cookie exchange with banners and holiday items. There are many free printable holiday banners that you can download, print and cut out. So easy. Here are a few of my favorites:
Here are some free Cookie Exchange Printables for invitations, banners and more!
Party Games for a Holiday Cookie Exchange
You certainly don’t need to plan games or entertainment, but you can. One year I had an handmade ornament exchange which was fun! Another year I had a white elephant gift exchange. If you do plan these you can also play the game where everyone gets a number, then the first number opens a gift. Anyone with numbers after the first can either open a new gift or steal a gift. Gifts can be stolen three times. This is a really fun game and a way for your guests to get to know each other. These games work well if you are having a small number of guests and if your exchange is a couple hours long.
Cookie Signs for a Holiday Cookie Exchange
It is helpful to have foldable little signs for your guests to write the type of cookie they made. Then everyone can see the names of the cookies as they go along to gather their cookies.
Name Tags for Guests
To let guests get to know each other better I usually have name tags. I also had a little tree that I had guests write their names on one year.
Ask Guests to Bring Copies of Their Cookie Recipe
I usually ask my guests to bring a copy of their recipe. If you know the number of guests you expect you can ask your guests to bring — say 20 copies — of their recipes so that everyone goes home with a copy of each recipe. This is nice in case anyone wants to recreate that recipe later. You can also have a little station where people can make little recipe books. I’ve done this before. You can get tiny albums with clear pouches where guests can slip each recipe inside.
Here are a Few of Our Favorite Cookie Exchange Recipes
Favors for a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party
Party favors are always fun. One year I gave everyone a little candle. Other ideas might be a cookie cutter or a little bottle of vanilla.
Most of all — enjoy your cookie exchange party and try not to get bogged down in the details. Have fun!! It’s a perfect opportunity to get to reconnect with friends and make new friends!!
Have you ever hosted a cookie exchange party?
Share YOUR ideas with us!!