How to Host a Cookie Exchange

Creating an event around your cookie exchange can be a fun, heartfelt addition to your holiday soirées. The time-honoured tradition of Christmas cookies comes from Europe and was first accounted for in North America as coming from the Dutch in the 1600s. The origin of exchanging Christmas cookies hasn’t been locked down, but the earliest notation of it in North American history dates back to 1936, where it can be tracked to a reference in a publication from Syracuse, NewYork.

The holiday is all about tradition: new, old, and some dating back to 1936, so we helped this tradition live on this year, with our own Dote Christmas Cookie Exchange. Throughout the week we have posted Christmas cookie recipes from each of our team members, which were the cookies we each brought to the event. In a room filled with holiday sensations of Christmas music, lights, and the smells of pine, gingerbread, and peppermint, we gathered together to share our traditions and give to each other. We each left with a box of cookies, each one special to a friend, to enjoy on our own or share at other holiday events.

To host a cookie exchange event of your own, here are few tips and things to remember.

  1. Invite friends who love to bake or have special traditions you think they would like to share.
  2. Have everyone let you know what cookies they will be bringing, ahead of time, so that no one doubles up.
  3. Provide boxes or freezer-safe containers for each guest to transport their cookies home.
  4. If you want a fun crafty activity, provide blank recipe cards, watercolour paints and brushes, and fine-point pens. Have all of your guests bring a copy of their recipes so that everyone can copy them down on the cards and then decorate them. Each guest will leave with a beautiful set of new recipe cards and traditions!
  5. If you don’t want to get artsy, have all your guests send their recipes to you ahead of time. Print each guest a copy of each recipe and everyone can still take them home a stack of new recipes to try.