How to Host an Exchange Party

An exchange party is a fun and easy way to host a party with the minimum of shopping, expense, baking and dishes to clean.
By: Geralin Thomas

An exchange party is a fun and easy way to host a party with the minimum of shopping, expense, baking and dishes to clean. (My kind of party!) Plus, after your party you will have a variety of homemade foods to enjoy and share.

You can have an exchange of almost any sort: desserts, appetizers or specialty dishes. One of the easiest and most fun exchange parties is a simple cookie exchange, and it's an especially great party to host over holidays.

Here's a quick plan for a Couples' Holiday Switcheroo Cookie and Appetizer Party. This is a wonderful party to have during cocktail hour or early evening; however, a simple cookie exchange also makes a great ladies' morning coffee gathering or an after-school children's party. In fact, you can modify this idea for nearly any sort of exchange party, from gourmet to simple. The trick is to keep the amounts of food small and manageable so they're easy to share.

What you do:

First, be sure the directions are clear to your invited guests on the invitations that you e-mail or send.

His job: Make festive appetizers to share with 24 other guests (26 including you two).

Her job: Bake one type of holiday cookie or candy. Place a half-dozen homemade cookies or candies, with a copy of the recipe inside and your name, into 13 individual bags, tins or boxes. In addition, provide a platter with a dozen cookies (same type and cut into bite-sized pieces if they're not already small) to be sampled at the party. (Note: Reserve a day for the baking because this is a whole lot of cookies!)

As hosts, you provide the drinks and the hospitality. You can make your party as elegant or as casual as you like. Use your best china (the holiday Spode you've been itching to bring out) or use designer holiday paper plates and napkins (recommended!)

Besides the holiday theme idea, consider a themed exchange party for the summertime, such as a Fourth of July dessert exchange or a back-to-school lunch box snack exchange. Be creative and enjoy a "switcheroo"!

Learn more about Geralin Thomas at www.metropolitanorganizing.com.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Tips for Hosting a Green Dinner Party

Create an eco-friendly party that's smart, affordable and stylish.

How to Throw a Holiday Cookie Party

Here's some advice from HGTV regular Sharon Anderson and Theresa Henn on how to throw a holiday cookie exchange party.

Spring Dinner Party Menu and Tips

Say goodbye to winter with a spring green party.

Host a Fall Farm-to-Table Dinner Party

Celebrate fall's bounty amidst the season's brightest foliage with our step-by-step instructions for throwing an autumn farm-to-table dinner party.

Throw a Theme Party

Check out these tips from our entertaining expert to make your party extra special and extra memorable.

Tips for Hosting Fun Parties

Here are 9 tips for hosting a party both you and your guests will enjoy.

Our Solution for the Post-Holiday Slump? Host a Party, Of Course!

Don't let the end of holiday festivities spoil your fun! Stage a wacky celebration to get you through.

Throw a Smart Graduation Party

Study up on some creative ideas for hosting a graduation party.

The Makings of a Pin-Worthy Engagement Party

Because pretty parties are always more fun.

The 4 Essentials You Need to Host a Game Night at Home

Games + food + drinks + friends = the easiest party ever.

On TV

Island Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Island Life

7am | 6c

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Desert Flippers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Desert Flippers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Desert Flippers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.