Even if simple, easy, casual entertaining is your usual calling, it is totally acceptable to go a little overboard this holiday if it makes you happy. I admit that I took our festive celebration up a step on the fancy scale this season myself, even going so far as to coordinate our Christmas tree to match the tablescape. Whether your decor is simple or sensational, all that matters is that it makes you smile.

 It is a timed tradition for my friends and I to enjoy an annual cookie swap. The expectation is that each person brings their favorite cookie, fudge, or other holiday desserts. We account for the necessary cookie quantity by the number of participants in the swap. Each of us brings 24 pieces to the party, 12 to enjoy at the event and 12 that guests can take home. I recommend using place cards to designate each type of cookie. If there are guests in attendance that have food allergies, it is helpful to denote specific ingredients included on the cards too. It is nice for the host to have to-go bags for guests to pick their favorites to take home. This is a fun festive tradition that my friends and I look forward to every year.

Though sweets might be at the heart of this shindig, we do normally serve a few seasonal appetizers as well. This year, I wanted to host and up the game with a few new boozy cookie recipes. I also thought it would be especially fun to ask my friends to dress up for the cookie occasion. After all, who doesn’t want to wear a cute cocktail dress while sipping on cocktails and enjoying cookies with your crew? 

In the decor department, I chose a blue and white theme for the tablescape with pops of red. I collected a few ginger jars from around my house and tied a festive bow around the neck for added flair. A few Juliksa glass Christmas trees paired with red tapered candles and a simple red velvet table runner rounded out the cheerful tabletop furnishings. 

Frontgate’s blue and white ornament collection adorned my flocked tree, accompanied by a sprinkling of red ornaments. I found a coordinating flocked garland that I featured around my light fixture. Ornaments and ribbon were added to match the tree.

The luxe look of Lettermade linen napkins made the soiree seem a little upscale, even though it was just cookies and appetizers. Cutlery Couture silverware pouches made grabbing silverware an easy part of our buffet style food set-up. Dogwood Hill was the perfect pick for the event invitations. Their coordinating gift tags went wonderfully with the take-away boxes paired with a mini bottle of Jackson Morgan Southern Cream. 

Our menu for the Cookie Swap Soiree included seasonal appetizers, baked goodies and desserts, and of course a few creative cocktails.


  • Crostinis with Prosciutto, Cranberry Relish, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary Garnish 

  • Cranberry Meatballs 

  • Pinwheels in Christmas Tree Shape

  • Baked Brie with Apple Slices, garnished with Cranberries and Rosemary Sprig

  • Assorted Christmas Cookies and Sweets (store-bought or homemade) 

  • Boozy Salted Caramel Fudge 

  • Peppermint Mocha Spiked Cookies 


  • Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate

  • Brown Sugar Eggnog Cocktail 

  • Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream Float