Ten years ago, my mom and I decided to host our first ever cookie swap as a mother/daughter bonding event. At the time, we never imagined a decade later we would continue the tradition, making the event more special each and every year. It started small, in my mom’s house with about 15 women. It has expanded over the years with a guest list of about 50 and a rented hall for the added space. On an average year we have about 5,400 cookies, all in one room!
How to throw a cookie swap:
1. Pick your location with lots of tables! Tables are needed for all of the cookie displays.
2. Create rules and include them on the invitation.
3. Request that everyone shares what cookies they are making in advance in order to avoid duplicates.
4. Provide plenty of wine and appetizers.
5. Make it a contest for added fun.
6. Bring either an ornament swap or $10 grab bag gift.
Our cookie swap rules:
1. Make ten dozen of the same type of cookie. Do not package them in groups or sets. Put all of the cookies on the same tray.
2. All cookies must be homemade!
3. Have a theme and create a festive display.
4. Bring extra containers to bring your cookies home in.
5. Prizes are awarded for best tasting cookie, most creative display, most festive outfit, and traveled from the furthest place to get there. Prizes are typically gift cards, bottles of wine, and Christmas decorations.
6. Divide the number of cookies each person makes (120) by the number of people. If you have 120 cookies per tray, and 42 people in total, each person takes about 3 cookies per tray.
Throughout the years we have had guest judges come in to critique the cookies and give out prizes. They take this job very seriously! We have had Santa come for the children to give out gifts and sing Christmas Carols. Finally, we always send a special parting gift home with every guest. In the past some of our parting gifts have been oven mitts, hand soap, chocolate, fuzzy socks, lip gloss, and lottery tickets!
Our annual cookie swap has grown into such a warm, memorable, and special time spent with our moms, family, and friends. The best part of the entire event is spending the entire day baking with my mom. The quality time with her is invaluable, and as my daughters get older, I know that this will be a day they will look forward to all year as well.
Do you have any special family traditions?