A New Tradition: Christmas Cookie Exchange

Four years ago, I began hosting an annual cookie exchange for my friends. The Christmas cookie exchange has become one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I host the party a week after Thanksgiving; this allows us to celebrate early and plan out our baking for the Christmas season.  It’s a rare time for us to spend together to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. To me, the party is the official start of the Christmas season. There is only one rule: NO BOYS or BABIES/KIDS allowed. Unless of course, the baby is nursing.  The Christmas cookie exchange is the only time I make this rule, any other party, dinner or activity I always welcome significant others, kids and babies. But, for this party, it’s about reconnecting with friends.

Every year, we get more competitive in the best way! The first year I hosted the party, I didn’t provide any non-cookie snacks. And, well we were all in a sugar coma. The following year, I made a spread of light bites to ensure we all eat a small dinner before devouring all the cookies.

Cookie Exchange
2017 Cookie Exchange Snacks


Cookie Exchange
Cookie Drink Bar


I served Shirley Temple and White Hot Chocolate at the party. You can check out the Shirley Temple by clicking HERE. I’ll share the White Hot Chocolate one of these days!

I send the invites to my guests a few days after Halloween, and I always host the party on the Thursday after Thanksgiving. The guest list is small, this year I invited 12 friends and eight attended. The invites ask each guest to bring two dozen cookies.

Once my guests arrive, we set their cookies out on the table, and each cookie is numbered. I used the numbers from Amazon that you can find HERE. Once everyone has arrived, the snacking and voting commences! I set the voting box in the kitchen near the snacks and away from the cookies. Towards the end of the evening, we tally the votes and award the prizes and trophies. And, yes there are trophies!

We use these categories and criteria for our voting.

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Most Festive Cookie– This Santa-worthy cookie with more spirit than an elf at the North Pole.
Most Creative Cookie– The cookie that’s so unique you’ve never seen it on Pinterest.
Baker’s Choice– The MUST have cookie of the Christmas season; you won’t be leaving the party without one (or 12).

Cookie Exchange Trophies

Before the night ends, we count the votes and award the prizes. We also fill containers of cookies to take home. This year, I repurposed my cookies for an event the next day.

Christmas Cookie Exchange
Cookie tray the next day.


How do you when the Christmas Season starts? Do you host a Christmas cookie exchange?

Want to see the lovely cookies my friends made? Don’t I have talented friends… Keep scrolling down….

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Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.

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