Do you remember what it was like when you were a little kid the night before Christmas or your family trip to Disney World? It was SOOO hard to go to sleep because of the excitement in the air. As an adult we have fewer of these nights, it’s more like I can’t sleep because I have a huge presentation to give tomorrow. The night before a cookie swap party is full of that same little kid excitement for me… why?
The smell of sugar in the air, friends laughing together and a good old wine buzz. What could be better? (I know we still get excited for trips to Disney but this is just as good nowadays! Well, only as long as some point in the party you all karaoke “Let it go”.)
Hosting a cookie party can seem overwhelming but really it’s quite easy. First, start with the basics. Then if you have time add in some special holiday touches!
Let’s look at the basics. What makes a cookie swap party so fun, besides the booze? It’s sharing memories from your childhood. Reminiscing baking with your grandma. Maybe its the thrill of scoring your first bag of holiday cookies that you wait for all year long (HELLOOO White Fudge Covered Oreos!). Perhaps it’s as simple as just getting 100% totally into that cheesy holiday spirit.
Start with a list of friends: I prefer a small group of about 8 to a large group. It is hard to test 12 -15 cookies (but, you can totally take on the challenge with a high risk for a sugar hangover).
Get the invite out early: Holidays are a busy time make sure everyone has time to plan. A good rule of thumb is to ask the your friends to bake 3-5 cookies per person coming. 3-4 weeks before the event takes place is a good time to send out the invites. Evite has several cute designs for cookie swap parties.
Gather Decorations: Take a few trips to the Target dollar section and the holiday section at Michael’s. Fun and silly accessories can make a cookie swap party feel so festive! You can also gather DIY Pinterest ideas along the way.
Non-Sweet Snacks: Most likely your friends will try to save on calories and skip dinner, HUGE mistake. With all of that wine and sugar, you need some protein and something salty. Make sure to have a snack display for munching.
Buy Booze: Decide if you want a signature cocktail or just stick with something simple. I love to use frozen fruit in champagne. Simple but luxurious… and not something your boyfriend would appreciate as much as your girlfriends Don’t forget lots of wine…
Beyond these basics you can add in some holiday spirit with fun photo props. I’ll just go ahead and assume at least two selfies per guest will be taken! So obviously silly Santa and reindeer props will be a plus.
Fun straws, or special glasses really brighten up your display. I love C Wonder for their multi-use cocktail glasses, you can use their glasses for just about any occasion.
Before the party have your friends email you the recipe so you can print them out for everyone. I’m not saying everybody’s grandma has the best cookie recipe but some do, and you will want to make them again.
To put a bit of fun competition into the party hold a secret ballot and pick a winner for best cookie. Fun baking gifts and cookie books are a great give-away.
Festive doggie bags are cheap this time of year. You could even buy re-useable holiday themed plastic tubs. Most everyone will clean up pretty well with lots of left overs. I usually take mine to the office the next day… If they stay at my house I will eat them. In fact while you’re preparing to host your cookie swap party go ahead and lose 5 pounds because that’s the average that I usually gain each year from this party. (I may be over preparing you here… but just trust my experience!)
Don‘t forget to bake your cookies...
I know this all sounds like so much but stick to the basics and if you’re feeling adventurous or have extra time, pump up the holiday cheer. Remember if you have lots of booze, good friends and sugar its bound to be a good time. Don’t worry about “nailing” too many of those Pinterest ideas!
Happy Cookie Planning!