Tis the Season to Host a Cookie Swap

Here we are again at the start of one of the busiest times of the year. While most of you are thinking Christmas wishlists and cocktail dresses, I am thinking about our annual Christmas cookie swap party.  Every year, my mom and I bake up a storm of cookies and gather a group of friends for a cookie swap. It’s has become a tradition that I look forward to year after year and one that is appreciated by all those involved. Cookie swaps are not only a nice way to make fond memories and reconnect with family and friends but also a great way to gather baked treats that will last the entire holiday season. It’s also a nice way to collect an assortment of thoughtful and delicious goodies for gifting.

For this year’s event, we decided that we needed to replace our bakeware and upgrade our tableware as most of our accessories were pretty much worn out from the previous years. That is when we headed to HomeSense and found everything we needed to bake our treats and to style our festive table.  From cookie plates and table décor to baking essentials, sprinkles, and cookie cutters, they have it ALL!

If you like the cookie swap idea and celebrating the holidays with bundles of homemade cookies, but can’t deal with all the baking, that is alright. You can still join in on the fun by purchasing some pretty artisanal and stylish cookies for the party. Yes, the initial concept of a cookie swap is to bring baked goods to the party but the fundamental idea is to have fun and to kick off the holiday season in a cozy and sweet setting. It’s already a busy and stressful time of the year so holding high expectations from your guests defeats the purpose of the get-together.  One year we had someone bring a wide selection of teas instead of cookies and we had a nice tea tasting.  This year we included some beautifully adorned cookies from Yes Please Montreal. Their cookies are not only pretty, they are super delicious, completely customizable and Instagram worthy 🙂

Of course with every cookie swap party comes a pretty table setting of treats and decor. It’s really important to set the theme for your party table as this is the focal point and will captivate your guests.  This year’s rustic/Scandinavian theme featured white, green and wood accents and was completely styled and coordinated with HomeSense tableware/decor. The table offered a melange of sweets (including some gluten-free treats also from HomeSense), attractive packing materials such as takeaway cardboard boxes, ribbon, and labels, and featured a floral loop custom made by Abaca Fleuriste.

So now the question: how to pull together such a party? It’s quite simple actually. Here’s how:

  1. Set a date and determine your guest list
  2. Invite your guests and ask them to bring their favorite holiday cookies;
  3. Once the number of participants is confirmed, ask each participant to bake one type of cookie in 4 to 5 dozen cookies or any other sweet treat (everyone will take home 5 dozen but in different varieties). Make sure that not everyone shows up with chocolate cookies! The idea is to have a variety of treats.
  4. The day of the swap set your table and include plenty of platters to feature your guest’s goodies. Have some identification cards ready so that when guests arrive so they can identify their treats. You can also ask your guest to bring a copy of their recipes to other guests to take home. Make sure to have some wrapping material and boxes for guest to take their abundance of sweets back home.
  5. Provide other snacks and beverages. The success of such a party is to keep your guests’ tummies happy. Depending on the time of the day, you can choose to have a mimosa and pastries for brunch, tea sandwiches and an assortment of teas in the afternoon or wine and cheese platters for an evening get-together.
  6. Relax and Enjoy.

Whatever holidays you celebrate, this is a great what to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Your friends and sweet tooth will surely thank you!

* Post sponsored by HomeSense, but all opinions are my own *