Establish your guest list. After you've created your guest list, decide how many cookies you want each person to share (we suggest between three and six per guest), and multiply that by the number of guests. Don't forget to include yourself! In other words, if you're inviting five guests, ask each person to bring between 18 and 36 cookies.
Send your invitations. On the invitation, include an estimate of how many cookies each guest should bring. You’ll also want to suggest that partygoers bring enough copies of their cookie recipe to share with everyone.
Choose your cookie recipe. Pick one that’s simple for others to replicate. We have a few festive and fun recipes that you can do with your kids, like chocolate shortbread stars and spiced Christmas puffs.
Shop. Purchase the ingredients you'll need to bake your cookies, plus the beverages and snacks you plan to provide. Visit a craft store to buy craft supplies to use for home decorating; we have a variety of easy-to-make crafts for creating a festive tabletop including cupcake wrapper garlands, mason jar snow globes and chocolate milk snowmen. While you’re shopping, you might also want to pick up boxes or containers for kids to decorate and bring cookies home in.
Decorate. Set up a table where guests can leave their cookies as they arrive; when everyone is there, it will be a yummy display of baked goods!
Bake. The day before the party, outfit your child with an apron and spend a fun afternoon baking the cookies you plan to contribute to the exchange. Wait for them to cool and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Set up for crafting activities. If you're going to have kids decorating cookie boxes, set up a table with the boxes, some pre-cut construction paper Christmas trees, gingerbread men and snowmen, markers and crayons, glue sticks; and any other craft supplies you want to provide.
Arrange a food and beverage table. Lay out the other snacks and drinks you’re providing onto a festive table.