For the last 20 years (yikes!) my mom and I have hosted a holiday cookie exchange. It’s the best way to catch up with girlfriends, play dressup and celebrate your besties during the season of giving.
In the past, everyone went all out. We’d make literally hundreds of cookies, all arranged in the cutest, most ridiculous little packages. Then we’d judge the cookies, which meant you HAD to eat. And eat. And eat. Cookies. And after all that, we’d usually have about 60-70 cookies to take home and… well... eat.
This year we’re trying something new. Below you’ll find a low-stress way to enjoy the party and indulge wisely.
- Dial down the stressometer. Cookie-making is optional. In years past, we had to know well in advance who was attending because the number of cookies you needed to make depended upon the number of guests attending. The number of cookies each person was required to bring was usually about 6-7 dozen! This year, the recommended number of cookies to bring is 2-3 dozen. If you can make cookies, great! If not? Who cares? Just bring your lovely self and some holiday cheer.
- Reduce the likelihood of sugar coma. Cookie-tasting is optional. Are there going to be lots of cookies present to munch on? Heck yeah. Are we going to make a big deal out of eating every single one and judging them for prizes? Um, negative. The cookies will be out for the tasting if you’d like one or two or… ten. No judgement.
- Turn up the FUN. Instead of a white elephant exchange, this year we decided to play Bunco. It’s a $10 buy in instead of a $10 ornament you don’t really know what to do with afterward. And with a dice game, there tends to be more screaming and use of colorful language which in my opinion makes things decidedly more festive.
- Offer low-sugar libations. A favorite at holiday parties is always Spiked Chai. Check out this Sugar Free Chai Drink Mix from 5 Sparrows. Add your favorite spiced rum to transform it into a deliciously adult treat you can feel good about.
- Send the cookies far, far away for goodness sake. This year, we will be donating our cookie plunder to the local women’s shelter. Gifting cookies to moms and kids in crisis during the holidays seems like a meager gesture at least. But it reminds us of our humanity and our connection to and responsibility for one another this season.
There you have it! 5 ways to host a healthy, holiday party that will leave your heart full, your body healthy and your sanity intact. Cheers!