I have been hosting a Christmas Cookie Exchange now for 7 years.  It is so fun!  Here is the invitation I just made with my new photoshop elements skills~ 

GingercakeCookieParty 

(don't worry friends~ that's not my real home or phone information ๐Ÿ™‚

Have any of you ever done a christmas cookie exchange?   Ours is pretty simple.  Friends and family come to the party with 6 dozen of their favorite christmas cookies displayed on a pretty platter.  We put all the cookies out on the dining room table.  We taste and look and then vote on 3 categories~ Best Tasting Cookie, Most Beautiful Cookie, & Best All Around Cookie.  The votes are tallied and then prizes are given.  I have made aprons as prizes in the past, but I usually just shop a good sale at Macy's and get cooking supplies like new measuring cups, cookie racks, etc.  Finally, according to how many people come to the party, we divide up the cookies and you go home with a variety of 6 dozen BEAUTIFUL christmas cookies.  

Cookie exchange pic

I have some friends who are super into the cookie exchange.  My friend Michelle has won in one of the categories every year!  My friend Karen has helped me keep the party going year after year even when I was pregnant, tired, and didn't have a good spot to hostess.  The grandma's always come with their favorite cookie they have been making for years.  Mom's plan days to bake with their daughters and choose a recipe together.  It's become a really sweet tradition and even though I am the hostess, I don't have to do much more than decorate my house and put out some drinks and crackers.   I am not even that great of a cookie maker myself!

I would love for some of you blog friends to feel inspired to do a cookie party too!  I am happy to help you plan.  Here is a template for the invitation I made~

View this photo

(I am not overly thrilled with my invite though, so if any of you have a better one, we could post it here too.)

You can just drag that photo into a word doc or photoshop elements and create a text box with your own info in it.  Along with the pretty invite, I also send out a "rules" sheet to help people understand what to do more clearly.

Download Cookierules2010

I am doing my party on Dec. 11th so I went ahead and ordered my invites today through Vistaprint.  I had to order 100 which is silly but with all the discounts I only paid $12!  I guess I'll be using these invites next year too?   In past years I have just called around if I don't get to making invites.  I would say you need at least 6 people to get a good variety.  I have had as much as 24 guests but that was probably too many since it made dividing up the cookies really complicated.  

Here is a Martha Stewart Document that I downloaded years ago about hosting a cookie party that you may also find useful, although you would have to be Martha Stewart to follow this baby..

Download 1105_cookieswap

This is going to be fun!  Leave a comment or email me if you have questions.  I would also love to hear about your favorite cookie so I can get help on an idea of what to make this year.  Right now I am thinking buckeyes but it has been done before so I am open for suggestions!

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