How to Host a Cookie Exchange Party

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Plan ahead for your party with our handy checklist.

One Month Before the Party

  • Call your friends to collect RSVP’s if they have not yet responded.
  • If you didn’t specify recipes or cookie types for each guest to bring, ask your friends what they plan to bake and try to avoid duplicates. Twenty dozen chocolate chip cookies does not make for pleasant variety.
  • Decide on treats and drinks to serve at the party, and if you wish, ask friends to bring some of the appetizers.

 Three Days Before the Party

  • Bake your cookies and store them in an airtight container or freeze them. (You’ll need to defrost the cookies before serving them.)
  • Begin decorating the house.
  • Gather any tablecloth, napkins or tableware necessary for the party.
  • Begin making appetizers that freeze or store well. 
  • Select background music that you would like to have playing during the party.
  • Write out a rough schedule for the party. You want everyone to socialize, but still have time to pack up cookies during the exchange.

One Day Before the Party

  • Finish making appetizers and drinks. 
  • Arrange furniture for the party.
  • Set up the cookie-buffet table; it should hold a large variety of cookies and be accessible by more than one person at a time.
  • If you have cake stands or other tiered serving trays, use them–dishes at different heights add drama to the buffet.

The Day of the Party

  • Arrange food and drinks.
  • Fix up any last-minute decorations. 
  • Brew the coffee, pull out your party timeline, put on some festive attire and get ready to party!

Santa Breakfast at The Village at Manor Park

The Secret is out! Santa is coming to The Village at Manor Park on December 4th from 8:30 to 10:30am.

Enjoy continental Breakfast, a free photo with Santa from Walgreens, raffle prizes, entertainment and more!

The Village at Manor Park
8621 West Beloit Road
West Allis, WI

Please RSVP by December 1st to reserve your spot!

CALL (414) 607-4186

Visit our website!





Thanksgiving Delights – Recipes

Double-Quick Pumpkin Bars

Makes about 36

For the bars:
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, beat together oil, eggs and sugar until mixture is creamy. Add remaining bar ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into an ungreased 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

To make frosting, beat together all the frosting ingredients until creamy. Spread on cooled, uncut cookies. After frosting has set, cut into equal size bars.

Store any leftover bars, covered, in the refrigerator.


Sensational Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

Makes about 6

4 Ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk or half and half
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped cream topping
1 graham cracker crust
1 cup cold milk or half and half
2 small vanilla flavored instant pudding packages
1 can pumpkin pie filling — (16 oz)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Teaspoon ground cloves

Beat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of milk, and sugar with wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in the whipped cream topping. Spread on bottom of graham cracker crust. Pour 1 cup milk into bowl, add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk for one to two minutes–mixture will be thick. Stir in pumpkin and spices with wire whisk. Mix well. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate four hours, or until set.


Pumpkin Roll

 For the cake:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 teaspon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until well blended. Line a 10 1/2″ by 15″ cookie sheet with parchment paper, trimming excess. Pour the batter onto the cookie sheet, spread evenly. Sprinke with pecans. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Prepare a linen towel heavily sprinkled with powdered sugar. After baking, turn the cookie sheet onto the towel, parchment paper side up. The cake should slide out onto the towel. Remove paper and roll up the cake into the towel. Cool 30-40 minutes.

For the filling, stir together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, margarine and vanilla. Mix well. After the roll has cooled, unroll it and spread the filling evenly. Re-roll and slice for serving.

How to Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen on Thanksgiving

Soup kitchens provide a hot meal for people who need it. You can help this Thanksgiving by volunteering your time to serve the holiday dinner.

  • Find out which soup kitchens are located in your area. Do a search online, look in the phone book, call information or ask your city or town clerk.
  • Contact a local soup kitchen and tell them you’d like to help.
  • Organize a group of people from your church, synagogue or local organization who are willing to volunteer on Thanksgiving.
  • Understand that the soup kitchen needs lots of help in other areas besides food service. Offer to pick up donations, do an inventory on them and store them away. You might also set up tables, prepare the food and help clean up after the meal is through.
  • Include your children in your efforts. This is a great way to teach them the importance of community service.
  • Consider making this a tradition in your family every year. Counting your blessings and helping people in need is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.








  • St. Ben’s Meal Program
  • 924 W. State St., (414) 271-0135
  • Meal served Sunday- Friday at 5:15 p.m. Volunteers should arrive 30-45 minutes before.


  • St. Vincent de Paul Meal Program
  • 931 W. Madison Ave., Sunday–Monday, dinner served from 5:15-6:30 p.m.
  • 2628 N. Martin Luther King Dr., Monday- Friday, dinner served from 5:15-6:30 p.m.

Chex Muddy Buddies/Puppy Chow – Gluten Free!


  • 9 cups Rice Chex®, Corn Chex®, Chocolate Chex® or Honey Nut Chex® cereal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights

Milwaukee Holiday Lights
November 18, 2010 – January 2, 2011

You’ll find a whole lot of holiday spirit in Downtown Milwaukee. Aside from our 500,000 + lights, 360 wreaths, 35 animated sculptures and 17 Moravian stars, we’ve packed the six-week festival with hundreds of activities to offer a little something for everyone. See for yourself! Get down here!


City/County Christmas Tree Lighting
Thursday, November 18 | 4:30 p.m.
Red Arrow Park

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza
Thursday, November 18 
Festive Family Fashion Show | 5:30 p.m.
Holiday Variety Show | 6 p.m.
Pere Marquette Park

To obtain a FREE Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival guide, contact Milwaukee Downtown at 414.220.4700