web analytics

Medium Sized Family uses affiliate links. If you click a link, we could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read more.

Share or Save This

This year, why not host a cookie exchange? It’s such a fun way to spread Christmas cheer without the cost and hassle of a traditional Christmas party!

Hosting a Christmas party probably sounds like equal parts fun and stress.  How great is it to get together with your favorite people at this special time of year!?


It’s also expensive, time consuming, and stressful (what with the planning, cleaning, and prepping.)

Happily I have the perfect solution for you!  The answer is host a cookie exchange!

cookie exchange party

Don’t worry!  It’s easier than you think.  Let me show you how!

This Christmas, Host a Cookie Exchange!

What’s a Cookie Exchange?

A cookie exchange party is exactly what it sounds like!  You invite some of your favorite people over and swap cookies with them.

It’s a party, but without the stress of figuring out food and entertainment.

Just put some hot chocolate, apple cider, or your favorite warm drink in the crock pot and enjoy those delicious cookies.

As a fantastic bonus, when everyone brings a different variety of cookies…you get to save both time and money on all the baking you usually do!

You might even choose to give away some of your portion of the cookies as gifts.  (This party idea just gets better and better, right??)

How Many Cookies Do You Need for A Cookie Exchange?

This depends on how many people you have at your party, and how invested you and your guests are in baking.

As a rule, one dozen of each type of cookie per guest will be plenty.  You might want guests to bring one extra dozen for sampling at the party.

If you’re a group of serious bakers, you could have people bring more than one variety of cookies!

Remember, though, that the goal is to have fun.  Not to stress people out at what is already a pretty stressful time of the year!

Some hosts ask their guests to let them know ahead of time which type of cookies they’ll bring so there aren’t repeats.  Candy cane cookies are great…  But it wouldn’t be so great if that’s the recipe everyone chooses to bring!

OR…Make It Easier!

If “ain’t nobody got time for that” is your December motto, maybe this is easier for you to handle.

Instead of worrying about having one dozen cookies for everyone…just have each guest make one dozen cookies.  That way everyone can sample the goodies at the party!

Bring copies of the recipe to share with the other guests so you can make them later from the comfort of your own home.

(Or…you can just go home happy that at least you got to sample different cookies without making them all yourself!)

These ideas for hosting a Christmas cookie exchange party make it easy! You'll love the free printable of cookie exchange rules! (Totally customizable!)

Cookie Exchange Games

If you ask me, cookies and company is plenty for having a good time.  But you may not agree.  So here are some ideas for cookie exchange games.


Hold a competition for best cookies.  You could have categories for taste, appearance, and presentation!

Minute to Win It

These games are always simple and use items you have on hand.  Check out this whole list of Minute to Win It Christmas Games!

What Are the Rules

When you send invitations for your cookie exchange party, make sure you’re clear on the rules.  Not because you want to be the “rule enforcing elf” of the evening, but to be sure that no one feels slighted.

This is supposed to be fun!

A few things you’ll want to decide beforehand:

How many guests? 

Remember that you want each guest to bring enough cookies for everyone.  But you don’t want anyone to have to slave away in the kitchen for a week.

Generally 5-10 people is a good number, depending on how much Christmas spirit you have room for this year.  Don’t overwhelm yourself!

Kids Allowed?

Do you want some adult time (finally!)?  Or is it just too much fun to pass the baking tradition on to your kids? 

Decide beforehand if you want this party to be a family affair, or adults only.  (Or even women only!)

How Many Cookies?

Like I said, a good general rule is to have everyone bring one dozen per guest, plus another dozen for tasting.

But if you invite 10 people, you may decide that not everyone needs to go home with 10 dozen cookies.  You might think it’s fine for each person to bring 7 dozen and just have everyone get fewer than a full dozen of each type.

The Date

Yes, you need a date for your party.  But you also should consider what date your guests should text your their recipe choice.  (To make sure there are no duplicates.) 

Give them plenty of time to think about it without giving them so much time that they forget.


Do you want to supply everyone with containers to bring home their stash of cookies?  Or should each guest bring something to cart them home in?

Dollar Tree has tons of cute containers, fyi!

Cookie Exchange Rules Template

Ready?  Let’s print up your invitations!

Click here to grab this free downloadable cookie exchange rules template that is totally customizable!

You can customize it to make it your own by clicking File, Make a Copy, (type in whatever name you like to save), Then Ok.

Double click the photo to make any changes you like.  Then print or save it as a pdf and send it to all your guests!

Get Your Cookie Exchange Rules Template!

These ideas will help you have the happiest cookie exchange ever!

Now you just need some delicious cookie recipes to choose from!  (Don’t worry, I got ya covered.  Check out these family favorite Christmas cookie recipes!)

9 Sweet Christmas Cookie Recipes You'll Love to Make

What special twist will you put on your cookie exchange?