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What Is a Christmas Cookie Exchange?

A Christmas cookie exchange is a holiday season get-together, sometimes called a “cookie swap.” Each guest brings a different type of homemade cookies to swap with each other. 

Table of Christmas cookies from The Cookie Elf

Cookie exchanges can be as simple or as elaborate as you like and can include games, activities, and socializing. It’s a holiday tradition that dates back at least to the 1930s.

What The Elf Loves About Cookie Exchanges

Bake Once, Save Time

A Christmas cookie exchange saves you lots of time in the kitchen, especially if you enjoy setting your holiday table with an assortment of cookies but don’t have time to make them all. If you host or attend a cookie exchange. You can bake cookies once – a couple of batches of one kind – and then swap with other people at the party. You come home with a beautiful collection of Christmas cookies to enjoy for the rest of the season.  

Get New Recipes

Part of the fun of a cookie exchange is sampling cookies. You can enjoy new recipes without making an entire batch. When you go home, you will have a ready source of Christmas cookie recipes that have passed your palate taste test! You can try your new recipes during the season or save them and bake all year long.

Kick Off The Season

When you attend or host a cookie exchange early in the season, you launch your season on a festive note. And you spend time with family and friends (and new friends) before the crush of the holidays. Cookie exchanges are also the ideal start to your holiday festivities. When you’re planning to host or attend a cookie exchange, you can’t help but look forward to the season ahead.

Pass Along Traditions

A holiday cookie exchange is the perfect way to bring back those childhood memories and pass along your family’s cookie traditions to others.

Top Tips for Hosting a Cookie Exchange

  1. Schedule your event well in advance. People get busy beginning in mid-November, so make sure your exchange is on their calendars. You may want to consider sending “Save The Date” notices early in the fall.
  2. You and those you know may be new to the concept of cookie exchanges. Don’t let their confusion deter you – use it as an opportunity to start a new tradition. Along those lines, be ready to answer all kinds of questions: is it a get-together to bake? Is it just a recipe exchange? Is it just an excuse to eat cookies? Is it a party at which only cookies are served? Once you attend or host an exchange, you and your friends will agree that it needs to be an annual tradition.


Get more ideas on our Christmas Cookie Exchange Pinterest board.


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