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A Simple Christmas Cookie Exchange

Christmas cookies at HappySimpleLiving.com


Dear friends,

I once attended a truly overwhelming cookie exchange party. After laboring for several days over the required 12 dozen cookies and packing them in the requisite zip-lock plastic bags (“for easy swapping!” the invitation said) I arrived and discovered that the seasoned exchangers had already ransacked the cookie table. After several of them swooped in on my ginger thins, I surveyed the leavings:  a dozen well-fingered baggies of animal crackers topped with canned frosting.

So you can understand my trepidation when several girlfriends invited me to join their annual fancy Christmas cookie exchange a few years ago. But these smart women have this holiday ritual figured out, and their execution is so simple and brilliant I thought I’d share it with you.  Here’s the gist:  we each bake five dozen of our best cookies and package them prettily. (I baked coconut macaroons and drizzled some with melted chocolate.)


Coconut macaroons at Happy Simple Living


Next—and this is an extremely important element of a simple cookie exchange—we meet at a great restaurant. We drink Mimosas, we catch up, we laugh, and we present each other with our cookies. Later we each return home with a stunning selection of five dozen fancy, delicious cookies like these:


Cookie exchange at Happy Simple Living


Here’s what I love about this newfangled cookie exchange:

  1. Reasonable quantities. Making a single batch of 5 dozen cookies is doable, even with a busy schedule. And 5 dozen cookies limits the amount of temptation at home, too (even though I’ve already eaten 15 cookies since yesterday).
  2. Off-site location. Meeting at a restaurant means no one has to clean the house.
  3. Planning ahead. The girls get the date on the calendar at least two months in advance so everyone can be there.
  4. Festive annual event. It’s important to make time for friends, and this gathering insures that we all get to see each other during the busy holiday season.
  5. Champagne. Need I say more?

I’d love to hear about your updated traditions, and I hope you’re finding simple, joyful moments during this busy holiday season.


The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S.  Have you signed up for the January Money Diet yet ? If you’d like to save money, reduce debt and spend less during the coming year,  join a group of like-minded people and commit to the ultimate financial challenge of eliminating nonessential spending for 31 days.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

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4 thoughts on “A Simple Christmas Cookie Exchange”

  1. I like that idea – totally!! I’m trying to make enough cookies to give away variety plates and everyone keeps eating them before I can box ’em up!! Lol. Cooking lots of one kind sounds much more productive – and you still get the variety!! Nice. I have posted a couple easy recipes ’cause I’m baking-baking-baking this week!! and I like “easy” and Christmas-y.

  2. This cookie exchange sounds like a wonderful idea! This keeps so much of the burden of a gathering, and makes it a pleasant get-together with friends!

    Have a wonderful holiday!


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