Etiquette Questions, Answered: Cookie Exchange Party
Q. What do I do if someone brings store-bought cookies?
A. You will say, “Oh, those look pretty, and I’m so glad you’re here,” as you set the platter out with everyone else’s. It’s a party, after all, not a hyper-competitive episode of Food Network Challenge, where the best cook expects to win a gold medal and a check for $10,000. Again, give your guests the benefit of the doubt. Everyone would prefer to be the person bringing the fabulous, iced-Christmas-tree-cookies that require seven colored sugars and use of a spritz cookie press. So you should assume that anyone who didn’t bake for the party had a good reason—sick kids, a killer workweek, the arrival of out-of-town relatives.
Whatever the reason, remember that it’s a hectic time of year. Your party is supposed to provide an antidote. The point of a party is to socialize, and in this case that means giving your guests a safe haven to relax in—no guilt trips, please!—while enjoying the holiday season in the company of friends. As for the cookies? They’re just the icing on the cake.