Every year, for the past six years, I have thrown a cookie exchange party. It is a great time to get together with friends during the busy holiday season. And we all go home with an abundance of delicious treats. This year, I decided to throw a Buffalo Plaid Cookie Exchange party. This theme made my decorating easy as I already have very rustic looking Christmas decor throughout my home.
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Buffalo Plaid Cookie Exchange Party
I started by browsing all the awesome buffalo plaid Christmas decor that Oriental Trading Co. has. I wanted everything but narrowed down my list to some pretty accent pieces and party planning essentials.
I started by decorating the main food table with a plain black tablecloth and a ruffled table skirt around it. I seriously love these pleated table skirts. They make your plain and boring folding table look great with very little effort. It simply sticks on to the tablecloth using an adhesive-strip backing around the edge of your table. I layered on the buffalo plaid table runner. It is fabric and just the right width and length to go across my folding table.
I placed my letterboard in the center of the table and added the words “cookie exchange 2017”. I found this small 24″ tabletop tree. I decorated it with some buffalo plaid ribbon from the craft store that I wove around the branches. I used a little hot glue at the beginning and end of the ribbon to loop it around the branches so it stayed on.
I layered in these little antlers throughout the tree. They worked perfectly with this rustic theme!
Normally I purchase fans or lanterns to decorate above my table, however this year I did a little something different. I attached the buffalo plaid hanging fans to the front of the table using tape.
I love to purchase inexpensive and basic supplies and dress them up to fit my party theme. I used these simple black paper cups and added a custom cookie exchange sticker to the front.
These cups were used for drinking and for holding the red utensils on the table.
I also added the stickers to some plain plastic wine glasses.
I attached a little bow I found at the dollar store to each one and they were instantly fancy!
I created some custom table tent labels. I used these to label the food, water pitcher, and each of the girl’s packages to help us know whose were whose when we voted.
This fiesta cream cheese dip is a favorite and I make it every year for the cookie party.
Voting and Exchanging Cookies
How it Works
The way my cookie exchange works, is I have everyone RSVP to the party at least a week and a half ahead of time. An accurate headcount is really important. I use Facebook Events to invite everyone, but you could also send out traditional invitations.
Once we know exactly how many ladies are coming, I decide how many cookies we will each make. It is usually anywhere between 30 – 60 cookies depending on the number of people attending. This year, we only had 6 of us. We each made 36 cookies. We wrap up five sets of 6 cookies to exchange with each other. Then, we leave out 6 unwrapped cookies to taste at the party.
When everyone has settled in, we vote! This year we voted on best tasting cookie, best packaging, and most creative treat. I created some custom voting sheets for us to use and fill out.
We sample all the cookies. Since almost everyone brings more than one kind of treat to share, we just break off pieces so we can each try a little bit.
My friends are so creative with their packaging. They come up with so many wonderful ideas for how to wrap up their cookies.
I got my snowflake boxes from Oriental Trading Co. I made M&M chocolate chip cookies. I packaged them up in clear zip top bags with Christmas trees on them. Then I slipped the bags into the box. The box slides into the box wrapper and it has a clear top so you can see what is inside.
Once we have all add a chance to vote, I tally them up and each winner for each category gets a prize.
After all those sweets, we have some drinks, eat, and talk and catch up. I always do savory finger foods since we are all eating so many sweets. This year I made a veggie tray, spinach dip, and the fiesta cream cheese Christmas tree. It was all served up on buffalo plaid plates. I also found the cutest deer napkins that were red, white, and black.
For drinks we had soda, cranberry juice, cranberry vodka, wine, and water. To make the water a little extra special I added some fresh cranberries and mint into the pitcher.
This party is a great way for me to be able to spend time with my friends. It can be hard to coordinate an event like this around the holidays, but I always enjoy the company of those that can make it! To say thank you to my friends for taking time out of their busy schedules and making cookies to share I like to put a little something together for each of them.
This year I found plaid plastic straw cups and plaid ornaments at my local dollar store. I fancied up the cups by cutting out vinyl with my Cricut to add each of my friend’s names. I also purchased some peppermint taffy and Andes mints and put them together in a little bag.
I used buffalo plaid bags from Oriental Trading Co. and placed everything inside.
I added one of the cookie exchange stickers and cut out each person’s name using my Cricut and some textured cardstock.
Get the free printables for this party: Buffalo Plaid Cookie Exchange Printables
Tell me, have you ever thrown a cookie exchange party before?
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