Holiday Treats Made Simple

by Marie E. Cecchini

If you would like to save time, be able to get together with your friends, and have a variety of goodies available for the holidays, then a cookie swap party is just what you are looking for.

What exactly is a cookie exchange? Basically, it is a gathering of like-minded people. They would like to have an assortment of treats on hand for the holidays, but they do not have days to spend baking, or the additional grocery funds for the wide range of special ingredients they would need in order to accomplish the task.

How does one go about planning for a cookie swap party? It is quite simple. You can send, hand, or phone your friends invitations. The invitations tell each guest to come with six dozen of their favorite holiday cookies to share, and an empty plastic container with a lid in which they will bring home a variety of treats. Sometimes people even make several copies of the recipe for their specialty in case anyone wants to be able to bake the same thing at home. As the host, you plan on providing a large table space, a beverage, and a snack. Something like this is usually held prior to the holiday season, so your house will already be decorated.

What takes place at a cookie exchange? As your guests enter, they will place the containers of cookies they brought on the table. People will visit and eat and relax. After a while, the actual cookie exchange begins. This is where guests form a kind of buffet line around the table with their plastic containers in hand. Each guest is free to take several cookies from each container on the table, and recipe copies, if available. At the end of the exchange, each guest should have six dozen of a variety of cookies to take home. Your friends and family will think you spent days in the kitchen.

The party is over. Now what? If they are your friends, they will help you clean up, though there shouldn't be much to do. Each guest will take home what he or she brought, one empty container, and another filled with cookies. If everyone had a great time, someone else may volunteer to host a cookie swap party next year. This is a tradition you may just want to continue, at least until you no longer have a yen for cookies.

Marie writes for educational, parent, and children's publications - and she loves cookies.

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