So what do you do when you almost never bake, but you want to host a holiday cook-exchange party? Well, first, you call your fabulous designer friend, Julie Couch (of Julie Couch Interiors) to co-host the party with you. Then, you call a great local bakery to take care of your personal cookie order because there’s no way you’re actually baking yourself! What you DO focus on, is finding adorable decor and making sure the bar is fully stocked (not if the party is just for kids of course)! Thankfully, Nico & Lala, one of my go-to sources for paper products, custom-created the most precious cookie-swap party invitations this year that Julie and I used as design inspiration for the entire party.
But they didn’t stop with the invitations. Since the Nico & Lala gals know that I love a one-stop-shop for all party products (for cohesiveness and convenience), they added additional matching decor pieces and supplies, such as cups, napkins, straws and more, so that all we were left to do was work on the food and beverage situation. This party could of course include children, but let’s be honest, they wouldn’t appreciate all the cute details like the adults would, and we all brought tons of cookies home from the party, which is what the kids really cared about anyway. I’d never hosted a cookie-swap before, so I wasn’t sure about the number of cookies to tell everyone to provide (which was included on the invitations once we decided). However, after doing a bit of research, we decided to tell everyone to bring one cookie per person invited (60 people), and since only 30 people actually attended, everyone got to take two of each kind of cookie home with them. You could also email all the guests who do RSVP “yes” (once all replies are received) with an updated cookie count, so that everyone brings the correct amount based on the actual number of attendees (2-4 per person depending on your total guest count). Now, y’all know me, and I almost NEVER cook or bake, but for this party I actually DID bake cookies (see that post here). However, I also called a fabulous Nashville-based cookie guru, Sweet G Cookie Co., so created the PERFECT iced cookies for this party. They matched the decor EXACTLY, and I was over-the-moon for them!
We hosted our cookie swap in one of the club’s smaller rooms that has great natural light, which was perfect for our 10am event (when the party started). This kind of party could also take place at night, but we didn’t want to make things too complicated, and an evening event ofter requires heavier food and beverages. We rented furniture from Please Be Seated to create lounge areas for everyone to comfortably gather and chat. We arranged the lounge furniture across from a very long table that we used for the cookies. We kept the linens simple (and cheap) and added a festive paper table runner from Hester & Cook. The pink acrylic trays are from Party City and worked great with our party colors (everyone brings their own container full of their cookies so we transferred them when they arrived, but you could also just use what people bring). Nico & Lala created tented cards for everyone to write the name of their cookie on, and I collected the recipe cards that we provided in everyones’ invitation to email out to our group following the event. Of course, my favorite cards said things like “went to Trader Joe’s and picked up whatever cookies they had out”… Clearly my friends are also delegators who don’t like to “DIY” anything- ha!
Our party took place at 10am, so we didn’t need to provide too much food, as it fell between breakfast and lunch. But what food we did provide, I ordered (delegate y’all), and since I hosted the party at our country club, I ordered some light pastries and snacks from them as well as let them run the mimosa bar. Thanks to VroomVroom Balloon, the bar became a fabulous focal point for the room with a balloon garland in the party colors. I also order a fabulous cheese board from The Nashville Cheese Gal, who styles the BEST looking and tastiest cheese boards in town! Thanks to another paper table runner from Hester & Cook, napkins and a stand-up snowman from Nico & Lala along with additional decor from Hot Pink, the “food table” was super festive!
I kept the bar options simple- mimosas with various juice options and pieces of fruit to drop in, and then we set-up a separate coffee station complete with Jackson Morgan flavored liquor add-ins and peppermint sprinkles. Who doesn’t like their coffee with a little Caramel or Peppermint flavored liquor added to it?! They also taste great added to hot chocolate if you don’t want the additional caffeine from coffee, and they make a fantastic hostess gift for the holidays. Of course I also added in Holiday Cookie Stir Sticks from Acrylicsticks as they looked like they were made for this cookie exchange party! They offer so many holiday options it’s hard to choose, but I love the Christmas cookie options that are shown here! Hope y’all enjoy this one as much as I do!
All the fabulous photos are by: Anna Rebecca Photography