Linda Gavin's First Annual Cookie Exchange
Fairbanks, Alaska

I was inspired by Robin's website to have my first cookie exchange party this year. I loved reading about all of her annual parties and seeing everyone's photos on her website. I decided to have my party in the afternoon of December 16th and invited 20 friends. I sent my invitations out by email or snail mail. I originally listed a half dozen rules but my daughter told me it sounded a tad bossy for a fun party, so I took my chances and took them off. You can tell from my photo that I didn't specify to make the 4 dozen requested cookies all the same kind, so I had a few ladies bring a variety--which really didn't seem to matter. I was a little surprised not to have any duplicates. One thing I wish I had done was request the recipe from each guest in advance so that I could make up recipe booklets for everyone. I served an extensive appetizer buffet, and in retrospect it was probably too much. I think I'll take Robin's advice next year and keep it simple. We had a cranberry champagne punch, coffee with Bailey's, and sodas, shoepeg corn dip w/red corn chips, brie in puff pastry, meatballs in cocktail sauce, tiny chicken salad sandwiches, veggie tray, fruit and dip, turkey and cranberry sauce wraps, Christmas candies and nuts. The brie and corn dip were big hits, but I had most of the meatballs and veggies left over. We did the cookie exchange in the last 15 minutes of the party, and we all gathered around our dining table. I had purchased some bakery boxes for those who'd forgotten their containers, but only two needed them. We introduced ourselves because I had a pretty varied group here, and we told a little about the cookies we baked. One of the guests wanted everyone to tell how they know me, so that was fun because I had two of my stepmothers here and everyone laughed and wondered how many more there were. After we gathered our cookies, I drew a name for the door prize: a Mikasa Christmas bowl. It was such a fun time and I'm looking forward to having my 2nd annual party next December! Thanks to Robin for such an interesting, organized, and beautiful website!

christmas cookies