The Great Cookie Exchange

Who doesn’t like Christmas cookies? (If you don’t, then you’re definitely not going to like this post.) One of my favourite things to do around this time of year is to give out baked goodies to everyone I know. Years and years ago I even used to do annual cookie exchanges with my friends.

You’ve done one of those before, right? Each party guest is assigned the task of bringing enough cookies for each party guest to take home (half to one dozen is a good amount) so everyone ends up with a variety of treats to serve at Christmas time. (That is, if they can last until then.)

Here’s some of what I learned from my past experiences:

  • Do try and circulate a list to get a sense of what everyone is bringing so you don’t get any repeats.
  • Don’t micromanage what every single person is going to make. The fun of it is having something unique from everyone, based on their background, their family traditions and their own personal preferences.
  • Do make sure you double-check for any dietary restrictions or allergies.
  • But if you do end up making a recipe someone can’t eat, don’t forget to bring them an alternative instead. (Like the gluten-free biscotti I made for my friend Andi here.)
  • Do pre-package your cookies for each guest to make life easier for you, your guests, and to protect against any contamination.
  • Don’t overdo it. No one likes a show-off at a cookie exchange (unless you’re showing off how many cookies you can eat).
  • Do make sure to bring along a copy of the recipe just in case any one wants to try it out for themselves. (The only exception is if it’s a super-top secret family recipe.)
  • Don’t take it personally if someone declines your cookies! It’s probably got more to do with their personal tastes than it does your baking.

As for baking inspiration? Well around this blog, we’ve got plenty. In my last post I talked about all the Christmas cookies that I usually make every year, but the recipes found here and here are also great to make as take-alongs. I even participated in an online cookie exchange once. I’ve also been amassing a list of recipes that I’d like to try here on Pinterest.

What are you making for Christmas this year? Are you and your friends holding a cookie exchange? Let us know all the details by commenting below or emailing me at

And hey, I realize I am not the only baking blogger on the blog. If you’ve got some great recipes you’re sharing on your blog for Christmas (or any other holiday) leave a comment below with the name of your blog and the link to your favourite recipe.

Can’t wait to see what you guys have been baking!

Holiday celebrations can be fun, but only if you can ensure that things go smoothly. While there are never any guarantees when it comes to social gatherings, there are still plenty of ways to get your holiday game on. Click here to read more of them, or click here or here to read about some of the other best practices I’ve been trying to put into my place in my life.

Do you have any tips on how to survive the holidays? Save us by commenting below or email your suggestions to