Westwood Village, Porterville, CA
Two years ago we started a cookie exchange at Westwood Village, the senior community where I am an assistant manager. We just extend an invitation in the November edition of our monthly newsletter. We have had 12-15 participants. Our only rule is that the cookies must be homemade, no store-bought or Pillsbury cookies. We hold the exchange on the second Sunday in December from 2-4 pm. I ask each participant to give me their recipe ahead of time so I can put all the recipes in a booklet to distribute at the exchange.
In 2007 we had a paper craft activity. Everyone decorated the cover of their recipe booklet using scrapbook supplies. This was a big hit. My sister, Dorris, came and helped me with scrapbook supplies and refreshments. We served a variety of hors doeuvres. The ambrosia style fruit salad was a favorite.
We gave prizes for the most festive cookie (Judy won a cookie jar for her Angel Cookies); most festive cookie display (Cindy won a basket of Christmas items for her basket of cookie bundles); most festively dressed (Carol Ann, in her Santa sweater, won a Christmas basket also.)
The Night before Christmas was recited with certain words omitted. Guests spoke up and filled in the blanks to take a gift. (Their parts were written on slips of paper they drew from a little Christmas box ahead of time.) Gifts (Christmas jewelry) were opened at the end of the poem.
I found your website in 2006 and it has been sooooo helpful! Thanks so much for providing all of this for all of us.