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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cookie Swap Party 2009

This afternoon I hosted a cookie swap party with my sister-in-law. It's a somewhat new Christmas tradition I started last year after hearing about them for the first time about two years ago. I remember thinking, "What a great idea!" The holiday season is so crazy with church activities, parties, performances, and shopping that it's often hard to get a really big group to come. The past two years I have sent out more than thirty invitations via Evite.com, and I've never had more than 10 guests simply because this season is so crazy. Evite is a great way to do invites for this kind of party because each guest can RSVP with what kind of cookie she are planning to make, so you easily avoid duplicates.

Here are the rules I send out in the Evite:
Cookie Swap Rules:
1. Bake: Please choose a favorite HOLIDAY cookie recipe to bake and share with the group. All cookies should be homemade and Christmas themed. Please bake 10-12 dozen cookies to swap.
2. Bring: Arrange your cookies in a basket or on a platter and print out enough copies of your recipe to share with everyone.
3. Swap: Each guest will take home a selection of cookies to share with their families during the holiday season. Don't forget to bring a large container with you, so that you can easily carry home your cookie collection.

After munching on appetizers and hanging out chatting for awhile, we all wen down the line and picked out about a dozen of each cookie. It's a great way to have a variety of Christmas cookies on hand for your family without feeling like you have to make a bunch of different recipes yourself. At the same time, I certainly don't need 10 dozen cookies in my house. Talk about winter-weight-gain! So I take the cookies that I collect at the party and keep some of each for my family, and then I put together boxes of cookies to pass along as gifts to my neighbors. I may even put together two boxes for my daughter's preschool teachers this year.

I already have ideas for how to make next year's cookie swap party even better. I'm pretty sure next year we'll have it at night and hang out in pj's. I love hosting this party because it's just one more way for me to take a little bit of stress out and add a little joy in.

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