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What Is a Cookie Exchange?
Many hands make light work," as the old saying goes. That is the essence of an old-fashioned cookie exchange.
To host a cookie exchange, you invite a group of friends, relatives, and neighbors over to your house to exchange homemade cookies. Every person brings about six dozen of one type of cookie. The cookies are laid out on the dining room table and exchanged. The result is that everyone goes home with an assortment of six dozen different types of cookies. The recipes are also swapped, so that if you take home a new cookie that you really like, you will be able to make it yourself. The cookie party can be given at any time during the year; however, most cookie exchange parties occur in December.
There are as many ways and reasons to host a cookie exchange party as there are people who give them. The party could be hosted as a one-time-only event, every couple of years, or annually. The majority who host a party for the first time are looking forward to making it an annual tradition for their friends and family. We all lead such busy lives, and a cookie exchange is a great time to reconnect with people you may not see on a regular basis.
Even though most cookie exchanges are given during the holidays, which is by far busiest season of year, it's still the best time of year to do this party. On top of "normal life," you then have the added workload of making "Christmas magic" by rushing around, trying to find parking spaces at busy malls, waiting in lines, buying and wrapping presents. You're tired, stressed, your feet hurt, and you're wondering where the meaning is in all of this hustle-bustle.
We'll never know who first thought of the cookie-only exchange. However, the tradition of sharing foods has been going on for thousands of years, and will continue, for survival and celebration, for thousands more.