Nine friends and I recently did a cookie swap to create care packages with our baking for 13 kids away at college. This enjoyable evening provided a great way to show our kids how much we are all thinking of them. This is an easy type of event to host, especially if you use the following tips:
Host your party on the day before you wish to mail the packages:
If you want the packages to arrive for a specific date (in our case, Valentine’s Day), find out from the postal service when they should be mailed. Remember that campus distribution times may extend the post office arrival date estimates, and try to avoid undeliverable weekend days.
Number of cookies each guest should bring:
Use the following formula to determine how many cookies each guest should supply:
(Number of care packages to be sent)
x (the number of cookies desired in each care package)
÷ (the number of cookie contributors)
= the number of cookies each contributor should supply.
We decided to include four-dozen cookies in each box – plenty to share with friends. Each mom supplied five dozen cookies – leftovers were divided for dads and siblings.
Hosting the Party:
Before my friends arrived, I made sure I had plenty of available counter and table space to work on. Living in Montana, I ensured my driveway was plowed, so no one would get stuck! I set up a buffet of beverages and appetizers, and provided an assortment of foil, food wrapping and packing materials. Several friends were unable to attend, so I obtained their kid’s addresses, and I had greeting cards for us all to sign and include in each care package. Be sure to have enough boxes – the medium-sized flat rate USPS boxes worked well for us.
We made packets of each type of cookie and then filled the boxes, using adequate packing materials so the contents wouldn’t crush. My kitchen scale determined that the boxes weighed about 4 pounds. The USPS postage price calculator website showed us that it was cost effective to send some boxes “flat-rate,” but for the closer zip codes it would be less expensive to cover the boxes in brown paper and pay according to size and weight. Although we all visited the post office the next day, one person could easily have mailed them all, and divide the cost between the group.
Unless you include instructions to keep the package a surprise until they are all delivered, as soon as the first box is opened, a photo of the contents is sure to appear on Facebook with a note of gratitude!