How-to Host the Best Holiday Cookie Exchange!

“Friends are like sprinkles on the cupcake of life!”
Author unknown.

I love to entertain, and what better time to do so than the holiday season? 

Several years ago, 2012 to be precise, I wrote a detailed article on how-to host a holiday cookie exchange. I wanted to provide an update with a few new ideas I’ve come up with. After all, it’s been a few years! I’ll provide the link to the original post which has several of my cookie recipes down below. You won’t want to miss that!

I want to touch on some older points, and expound on them here. Let me know if you are planning a cookie exchange & what tips would you have to share?

First we need to determine how many guests you plan to have which will determine how many cookies you will each need to bake. There are generally two methods to determine how many dozen cookies each participant will need to bake.

Pro tip: Be sure to be specific when inviting guests! Don’t expect them to know they need to make just 1 variety, not a mixture.

Small Group 5 to 10 guests

Each person will bring 1 dozen cookies for each guest. Therefore if you are having 5 guests plus yourself, each person will bake 6 dozen cookies of the same variety. At the end, everyone will leave with 6 dozen cookies of 6 different varieties.

Large Group 11 or more guests

With a larger group you will want to choose an easy number of cookies for each guest to bake. Generally 12 dozen is reasonable as most recipes will make 3 to 5 dozen.
Once you know how many guests you will be attending, you will use this simple formula  to determine how many cookies each guest will take home.

Formula: # of cookies divided by # of guests = total number of cookies to take from each guest.

Example: If you have everyone make 12 dozen cookies and you are planning on 20 guests you will take 12 dozen multiplied by 12 cookies= 144 cookies; then divide by 20 guests = 7.2 cookies of each variety for each guest. 
Take the .2 extra cookies and give them to a friend who couldn’t attend, a neighbor who doesn’t get out much, or bring them to work. Generally the host takes the extra’s.

There are a variety of containers you can bring your cookies in to the exchange. See my previous post for ideas!

The Invitation

 I am all about the details when entertaining, and that includes the invitation. This will emphasize the theme of your cookie exchange. Here are some cutesy ideas from my previous post & some new ones!

Pro tip: Be sure to invite your guests at least three weeks in advance. This will allow them ample opportunity to find the perfect containers or make them!

What to include on the invitation:

  1. Date, time & location is essential.  
  2. Explain how many cookies to bring, and to bring ONLY 1 variety! 
  3. Encourage guests to bring cookies in cute containers- purchased or homemade!
  4. If you have a theme, include that information. For example everyone is to wear an ugly sweater, Victorian hat, or pajamas. It’s your party, have fun with it!
  5. Ask your guests to include a copy of the recipe on a cute recipe card for each guest with their name and date on it.  Be sure to stress that they would be so extra special if they are hand written. A family member or friend’s handwriting is so special.

Pro tip: Once you know how many guests will be attending, you can prepackage each guests cookies in cute containers. Grab & Go!

Should you create or purchase the invitation? If you choose to make the invitation, here are some super cute idea’s!

Invitation Ideas!

1. Using vintage postcards or the front of an old Christmas card is a super cute idea. Using an adhesive place the postcard or card on a piece of cardstock and put all the info on the back of the card.
2. Attach a mini cookie cutter to the invitation as a keepsake! Simply punch a hole in the top corner of the invitation, tie the cookie cutter with a length of raffia or ribbon. 
3. If you love to stamp or scrapbook, you more than likely have oodles of supplies and ideas. If you have a theme, make your invitation reflect it. 
4. Paper die-cuts in the shape of cookies, snow flakes, or any winter theme would work; get a rubber stamp that has Invitation info on it; or print off your computer with a cute font.
5. Photo Greeting Cards make beautiful invites as well. Take a photo of your cookie, a bowl full of vintage cookie cutters or whatever your theme might be. Have enough 4×6 prints made for the amount of invitations you need. Crop about an inch off either the top or bottom of the photo and then adhere to a piece of card stock. Too cute!

To read more suggestions on setting your cookie table, the luncheon menu, tips on how-to get your cookies home, & of course several of my yummiest cookie recipes, head over to my original blog post!

If you enjoyed this blog & bonus recipes, please LIKE, Follow & of course Share! Let me know what you think,  I love your feedback! 

Added bonus tip: To find recipes like the ones you’ll find in my posts, you can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

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Happy Day,

Here are some great sites for free printable invitations, recipe cards,
stickers & labels: 

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