Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange.

Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. It may seem like a daunting task, but I’m here to share my tips and tricks on pulling it off, making amazing holiday memories, and collecting a ton of new recipes. You can also watch our video for more tips. 

Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange

Provide the Base – As the host you’re in charge of the base decor + set up. Set the expectations up front so participants know how many varieties and what quantity of cookies to bring (and anything else they need to bring), and gather the cookie recipes ahead of time so you know what everyone is bringing and there are no overlaps.

The Cookie Tablescape – Make a beautiful spread to your liking, and remember to layer your table with height and decor. Add cake plates, platters, bowls, smaller plates and lots of tongs and servers so guests can easily grab and go. I even added a vintage sled as an additional layer of decor and height, allowing me to add greenery around and beneath it and plates and platters up top and below. Of course, the highlight of the display should be the beautiful cookies! Knowing the recipes ahead of time will help you better plan. You can even prepare table tents with each cookie name so guests know exactly where to place their cookies once they arrive, and so they know what they’re tasting while gathering their assortments.

The Details – Consider having a signature cocktail or cocoa for your guests. It’s a great time to break out that punch bowl that was passed down from your grandmother, as well as some other finger foods to break up that sugar high.

The recipes are a huge aspect of the exchange, so be sure you either provide them all in a packet or ask guests to each bring a stack of printouts or recipe cards with their own cookie recipe on it. That’s one of the biggest benefits to a cookie exchange beyond leaving with a container full of a variety of cookies: walking away with a whole bundle of new recipes to try next holiday.

I’m always sure to have holiday music on repeat and a nice mulling cider or spice on the stove to fill my home with the smells + sounds of Christmas. A cozy fire is a nice touch, too. If you have time, sending a physical invitation is also an old-school touch that most guests will appreciate!

Takeaways – It’s always nice to have little cookie tins (you can get these so many places during the holidays, like Target, the dollar store, etc.) for guests to fill up. Be sure to also provide waxed or parchment paper to line the tins. As an alternative, you can use cellophane or ziplock style bags.

I’d love to hear how your holiday cookie exchange goes! #Heirloomed


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about family recipes, creatingtraditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

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