How to Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange

Homemade cookies and treats are delicious and charming gifts that are inexpensive to make and easy to give to co-workers and family members. Instead of baking for days, some cooks choose to host a Christmas cookie exchange party to trade cookies with friends and family and have some holiday fun in the process.


Invitations to a Christmas cookie exchange should be sent out at least two weeks before the party. This gives the guests plenty of time to decide on a recipe and bake the cookies in advance. Invitations should be holiday themed and include instructions on what to bring to the party, as well as information about the date, place and time of the gathering. Specific instructions on how to RSVP should be given, as you will need to know exactly how many people are coming to the party.

Rules of the Kitchen

The number of guests invited to a Christmas cookie exchange should be under ten. This assures that there will be plenty of room on the table for cookies and keeps the exchange to a manageable number. Each guest should bring 1/2 dozen cookies per attendee. If you invite 10 guests, each one should bring 5 dozen cookies.

Party Foods

Many people assume that the Christmas cookies will be eaten at the party. Though some hosts like to offer a few cookies as snacks, many prefer to serve small appetizer trays and cocktails. It is also acceptable to have each guest contribute 2 cookies to a party platter that everyone can sample.

The Exchange

When the guests arrive, they should place their cookies on the central table. The host or hostess of the party should provide cookie tins or trays for each party guest to use to collect their cookies and take them home. Plastic party trays and beautiful cookie tins can be purchased at discount stores for as little as a dollar each. This is a very affordable and functional party gift to the guests.

Once all the cookies are laid out and each guest is given a tray or container, have each person go around the table and take 6 of each sort of cookie. This means that each guest will get to take home 5 dozen assorted Christmas cookies – what a great way to start the holiday season!

The Party

During the rest of the party, guests should feel free to mingle and enjoy the snacks and beverages. Some hosts like to have each guest vote on who made the tastiest cookies or the most beautiful cookies.

On the invitation, each guest should be instructed to bring 10 copies of their cookie recipe. During the party, the host can take everyone’s recipes and staple or tie them together with a copy of the Christmas cookie exchange invitation on top. This makes a beautiful and useful keepsake for each attendee.


When each guest calls to RSVP, instruct them to be sure to make their cookies at least two days in advance. This insures that a botched or burned batch of cookies won’t ruin the party. This also gives the cookies time to settle so that they will be more easily transportable. At this time, each guest should let the host know what kind of cookies they will be bringing so that cookie types will not be duplicated.

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