This is a re-post from last year’s Christmas Cookie Swap!  We just couldn’t have a virtual cookie exchange without explaining how to have a real one! (If you missed the Shannon Gail virtual cookie exchange, click here!)

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{Photo Credits}: Southern Living, Just a Taste, Cannelle et Vanille 

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You’ll want to send out your invitations about a month before the party and ask that your guests RSVP no later than one week before the date so that you have an accurate guest count (this is very important).

Tip: Also create a little spot on your invitations for the ladies to write which type of cookie they will be bringing – this way, you won’t have duplicates!

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Once all of your guests have RSVP’d, give everyone a call and let them know how many cookies they’ll need to bake! Each guest should bake 1 dozen of the same type of cookie per guest in attendance, plus 1 for each guest to sample at the party! So for example, if you have 6 guests (including yourself), each person will bake 5 dozen to give away (unless of course they want some for themselves) plus 6 for the night of the party, so 66 cookies total!
Tip: We suggest no more than 8 guests so that the number of cookies to bake remains manageable!

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Decide on an area in your house to display all of the cookies that will be sampled that night and mix and match platters, stands, etc. to display the cookies. Also, make sure you make little cards that let guests know which type of cookie they are sampling!
Tip: This is where you can get creative! Choose a color scheme (we love all white!) and go with it everywhere! Mix cupcake platters with cake plates, etc. so that your table has different levels!

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Get your own baking out of the way a few days before hand so that you aren’t stressed the day before the party! Since you will be sending each guest home with 12 of your cookies, get creative and find a great way to package them!
Tip: Keep your cookies small and bite size so that you aren’t baking too many batches! This also gives you many more options when packaging! Skip the Christmas plate and opt for a gorgeous jar with a ribbon instead!

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You’ve got your table, you’ve got your cookies, now all you need are the guests! Put a pot of coffee on and maybe even pour a fun drink like a Christmas Cookie Cocktail!
Tip: Save money by not providing a “full bar.” One specialty drink is enough, or just have some pitchers of water and a coffee station with a bit of Baileys!

Still need a hand? Here is a guide to throwing the perfect cookie swap, courtesy of Martha Stewart!