First the date! We have settled on the first Friday in December. It is early enough that people don't have too much going on but late enough to be "during the holidays."
Next, invitations. The first few years we were really into getting together a great handmade invitation. The first year even included its own handmade envelope. Now we all have kids and can't get it together. Luckily, I have photo shop so they are still not store bought!
The guest list. It grows every year. This year I ordered 75 invitations. I still have about 18 at home but that a lot of people. We actually had 30 people, 28 with cookies there this year.
We have all guest bring 12 dozen - yes, one dozen dozen - cookies. We first mingle, eat snacks, drink wine, and socialize. Then my dad, FIL, BILs, and a close family friend stop in for the judging. We offer prizes for the best looking, most creative, and best tasting cookie. My sisters, mom, and I cannot win - even though I think we should be able to win.
Once the judging is over and the winners are announced, we start dividing up the cookies. We all went home with at least 5 of each cookie this year. It was a ton of fun!
Here is a peek:
We had three full tables of cookies this year!
J came with the testers and brought P so she could see everyone. She was more interested in the stairs!
This is one of my favorite parts of the holiday! What is yours?