Mindy Hambrick's
2nd Cookie Exchange
Fort Wayne, Indiana


Dear Robin,

Thank you so much for creating this website - I hosted my second cookie exchange this year and am already planning my third for 2008!

We started off with appetizers (bbq meatballs, mini pesto pizzas, crescent-wrapped cocktail sausages, pasta salad, fruit salad and breadsticks), and moved quickly onto the games!

Every year I buy a bunch of beautiful blown glass ornaments at the after-Christmas sales and I wrapped them up and we played the left/right game from your Games page with them. Then we voted on best outfit. Most of us try to at least wear Christmas colors, but this year we had a couple of very creative costumes.

My mom came as an elf (she's only 5' tall, so it works for her!), and my sister-in-law and niece came as the Grinch and his dog Max! The voting for best costume was split down the middle, so luckily I had extra prizes on hand.

We also played a few rounds of holiday BINGO, and finished things off with the partner wrapping game where partners each had to sit side by side, and the person on the left can only use their left hand, the person on the right can only use their right, and they have to work together to wrap the gift. I used tissue boxes that were all the same size and I precut the wrapping paper so we didn't lose any fingers.

After the games we had cake. I found a recipe in Southern Living's 2007 book for a chocolate cake, with chocolate bars broken up in it, cheesecake bites between the layers, butter cream frosting, and topped off with caramel sauce and pirouette cookies! The cake was certainly a hit, but I guess you can't go wrong with chocolate, cheesecake, butter cream and caramel sauce...

And finally, the COOKIES. Everyone put such effort into their cookies and it really showed! We lucked out with a great variety of flavors, from traditional fruit/nut cookies, mint, chocolate, shortbread and gingerbread to fun recipes like rocky road bars.

Without getting too sappy, we have such a great group of women that get together for this. Family, co-workers, neighbors and family-friends. Before I started doing the cookie swap, the only time I saw all of these wonderful people in the same room was at my wedding!

Your site is such a wonderful resource, and it's just so much fun to look through the pictures of other people's cookie exchanges as well. Thank you for all that you do!

Mindy Hambrick
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Group Photo from front left - me, Samantha, Shannon, Dee, Ruby, Sarah,
Sue, "the other" Mindy, Beth, Laura, Sheryl.

The partner wrapping game winners.
They were also tied to win best outfit for their Grinch and Max costumes!
Although Shannon removed the single antler before this photo was taken!

The other winner for the best outfit prize - Sue the Elf!

The cookie table

Sue won this snowman last year for her reindeer outfit and
worked it into her cookie presentation this year!