I am the Fellowship Team Leader at our little church, and have been for many years now. Not that I wouldn’t gladly step aside and let someone else lead this, Hint Hint. It’s good to get new people in, with fresh ideas. Anyhow, one of the events we host each year is the Women’s Cookie Exchange. We do 3 events that are greatly anticipated and huge hits each year. The Chili Cookoff, Our Independence Day Lake Celebration, and our Women’s Cookie Exchange.
This year, I admit, I was not as prepared or organized as usual. Life happens, things come up, and I just got busy. However, through all my lack of preparation, the Lord still allowed us to have a great turnout and a wonderful morning of fellowship.
Our church does this a little differently than others. We start our morning out by doing a potluck brunch. All the ladies bring in a dish to share. We are Southern Baptist so you get 30 women together and you have more of a feast than a brunch. I actually had to set up another table because all the food wouldn’t fit.
We start out morning out with a prayer and mingle while we enjoy our breakfast. Once most people are about done eating, we do a devotional or story telling time before getting into the Cookie Exchange portion. I usually coordinate a guest speaker, but this year those plans fell through. That means everyone was stuck with me.
I spent much time in prayer and searching for the perfect devotional. Since I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for so I incorporated a fellow bloggers devotion and my own stories. I started by talking about how I have been really thinking about childhood memories lately. Maybe a little nostalgia this Christmas. You know when you are a kid things are so exciting and fun. The anticipation of Christmas morning.
Now as an adult Christmas takes on a new meaning. I have to do the shopping, cooking, baking, organizing, gift buying, wrapping and the list goes on and on. It can be stressful and never enough hours in the day. I turn into a grumpy grouchy women on a mission.Lord, Help me NOT be a grouchy, women on a mission, THIS Christmas Season. Click To Tweet
Which is why I can totally relate and loved the devotional I used. She uses the story of Martha and Mary and how we need to Chill Out, and Re-prioritize. You can find it here if you want to read, I promise you will be refreshed. Messy Tired Love Devotional, How to Create the Perfect Christ Centered Christmas. https://messytiredlove.com/2017/11/17/creating-perfect-christmas/
In addition, I also encourage you to do something for someone else this Christmas. Jesus wants us to be His hands and feet to show this hard world, HIS love. Our family had already decided before the Cookie Exchange that we would share a few cookies after dinner, then would box the remainder cookies and take to the Hospice Home in town to give to the patients, families and nurses that are experiencing hard times this Christmas. Which we did after church on Sunday.
There are so many other things that you can do that do not even require money. Feeding the homeless, go by a nursing home and volunteer your time, send some words of encouragement to anyone you know having a difficult year. We can be the LIGHT and we can make this Christmas one to remember.
You can see a previous post if you want more ideas. http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/11/06/the-gift-of-giving/
After we do the devotional portion we gather around some tables I placed together, where we put out all our cookies on trays. Each lady is asked to bring a spare Tupperware container to put your cookies to take home in. This is the portion that we do a little differently. We go around in a circle, grabbing one cookie from each tray while some Christmas music plays. Once several trays of cookies start getting empty, I usually ask everyone to start taking 2 of each. It usually takes about 10 minutes to go around several times until all cookies are gone.
This is such a great event and could be done in small or large churches. I would think if you do at a large church that instead of putting cookies on trays and everyone going around taking some, maybe you would ask people to bag cookies prior to coming and instead just have baskets or something and the organizer would then prepare baskets with pre-sorted cookies while everyone mingles or something.
These are the cookies I made. Don’t laugh at the melted peppermint kisses. 😀
Hosting a Cookie Exchange
If hosting at a church. We put it in the bulletin about 4-6 weeks prior. Its more of a save the date with the date and time of the women’s cookie exchange. Then a week or two prior I put an insert in the bulletin. I print these black and white and then copy onto color paper (red/green) then cut and put in the bulletins. It gives more details including asking everyone to bring a spare Tupperware to take cookies home in. We also suggestion bringing one batch which is usually 3-4 dozen cookies.
Our church is small enough that I am also able to send out an email reminder a few days prior.
- Decorations- Be sure to make the space inviting, warm, and Christmas filled.
- Music- It’s great to have soft Christmas music playing in the background.
- Supplies- Christmas Plates/Napkins/Cups. If hosting games be sure to get some prizes.
- Guest Speaker-Line up a guest speaker well in advance or plan to do a Devotional of some sort yourself. There are tons of Christmas Devotionals. You can do hands on, light speaking, storytelling or any combination. Keep it light, entertaining, and engaging.
- Nursery Workers- Unless you are asking people to pre-arrange their own childcare, I would recommend lining up childcare workers (teens maybe) so at least during the devotional time it can be a time of serious focus on the speaker. Our church is more flexible on this than most.
- Refreshments/Condiments/Treats- Hot Cider,Coffee, Juices, Flavored Creamer, Syrup, Butter, Candies, Candy Canes, Etc.
You can do all kinds of cool things such as make it into a game where people win prizes for best decorated cookie, Most unique, etc. I’ve seen where some church’s do crafts or games prior to the cookie exchange portion.
This is the one and only Women’s Only event we host and our women like to socialize so I usually try to keep it pretty basic and allow people time to just enjoy each others company. Instead of doing tables I usually set the chairs in a big circle which makes it feel more personal and cozy.
So, I hope I have given you a few ideas of how maybe you can host a Cookie Exchange. Whether it be at home, an office, or church event. The possibilities are endless and its sure to impress.