Samantha Kieley's
5th Cookie Exchange

Ellicott City, Maryland

Hi, Robin!

Thanks so much for all of your wonderful cookie exchange ideas and advice....your website was a true "find" and it has kept me going now for over five wonderful years of cookie-exchange fun.

What started out over five years ago as a small cookie exchange party of 6 people, has now grown to a full-blown party DAY with over 25 people this year. I truly enjoy the planning; everything from the invitations (I did an evite this worked out perfectly), to the menu and favors! I am already starting to think about my 2008 cookie-exchange.

My annual cookie exchange has been especially meaningful to me ever since my Mom passed away a little over three years ago. She was a wonderful baker and holiday time holds such special memories of baking cookies together. I celebrate her, and those fond memories, each year at my cookie exchange. I know she would be proud of me and would be so happy to see my friends, family and neighbors gathered together for such a wonderful occasion.

This year, for the first time, I held a cookie exchange brunch, complete with mimosas, bloody Marys, bagels, egg muffins, crab dip, baked brie, fresh fruit and lots of yummy breakfast pastries. We socialized ate and drank for over two hours before crowding into my living room for the swap. I loved watching my friends, family and neighbors "ooh" and "ahh" over the creative (some went way over the top this year) displays and gorgeous cookies. We all voted for the most beautiful cookie and most creative/festive display and I awarded prizes to the winners. It was a wonderful morning (actually, it went well into the afternoon) and the overflowing cookie trays that left the party were just amazing.

All the best in 2008; thanks again for your wonderful website!

Samantha Kieley
Ellicott City, Maryland