Friday, December 16, 2016

Easy, Stress free Cookie Exchange {free printable}

November marked 7 years of home ownership for us and next week marks the anniversary of the day we moved in to our house.  So much has changed as we have slowly made it our own.  But, one thing has remained the same: We want to use our house as a means of hospitality and a place for people to gather.  We also love the school our kids go to and want to invest in the lives of that community.  And, honestly, I have met some amazing moms just by hanging out at drop off and pick up.  This year has been weird, because I am not at the main pick up most of the week since a friend and I carpool so we don't have to make 2 trips 45 minutes apart between kinder pick up and regular day pick up.  Also, conversing with moms after school is hard because there is a sort of chaos that comes with your kids not seeing you all day and needing your attention, littles tugging on you, or the crazy of boys running around knocking each other down.  Sometimes moms just need a chance to get some time to relax, talk, eat yumminess, and not have to be interrupted by kids.  So, I planned a cookie exchange and sent the boys to the mini golf course.  The boys got a date with their dad and this mom got some girl time. 

It wasn't hard to convince my hubby to go away because he's a fan of cookies and cookie exchanges mean cookies, so he was in.  I invited as many as I could (just in case a miracle happened and they all showed up. . . it didn't happen. . . it's Christmas and people are crazy busy!).  But several friends showed up and we exchanged cookies, ate food, and just talked.  Everyone went away meeting someone new and taking some seriously delicious treats with them!  And by delicious, I am not joking. . . my friends are really good bakers!

Here are some helpful tips for making a stress free cookie exchange:

1.  Invite friends.  I designed a quick invitation and saved it as a jpg, and then created a Facebook event.  If you have friends that don't do Facebook, then just send it as an email.  You could do snail mail. . . but that isn't quick and easy. 

2.  Don't be afraid to ask your guest to potluck it.  Whenever, I host things with my school mom friends, we potluck.  It's a great way to share recipes, and start conversations . . . especially when sometimes moms don't always know each other.  

3.  I found some cute cookie cutter and threw on a tag for some quick party favors.  This was a super easy way to just love on my friends.  

4.  Don't overwhelm yourself or your friends by making them bake 10 dozen cookies.  Just a batch will do and everyone can take at least 2.  I mean, let's be real here, when you come home with 100 cookies from a cookie exchange, most of the time it gets shipped off to your work or in my case, my husband's work because NOBODY can eat that many before they get stale.  So, really, why bother making large amounts and overwhelm everybody.  The whole point is to gather and share. 

5.  Provide boxes for your friends to put their cookie collection in.  I found lingerie boxes at Hobby Lobby for half off and bought enough for my friends and even added some fun tissue paper, so they could package their cookies for the ride home.  Fun, festive, and inexpensive.  

6.  Use printable to decorate.  I really liked the sign from here but the colors didn't got with my plates (some of the cute Cheeky plates and napkins from Target in Red, magenta, green, and gold triangles).  I also didn't want to buy the kit (that didn't match) and only use the sign.  So, I borrowed the words and came up with my own design.  And then I made tags to match for the cookie cutters.  I had them both printed at Office Depot for super cheap and they turned out great!

7.  I also bought some tags (half off at Hobby Lobby) and put them with some sharpies for people to write the names of their treats so everyone would know what things were.  

And guess what!?  I am linking you to the sign and cookie cutter tags so you can throw a cookie exchange with no hassle!  Open your home and get connected with the people around you!  

You can print out them out for free! For personal use only

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