Recently we had a great time by having friends over for our very first picture book christmas cookie exchange. We had a few good friends over on a balmy December afternoon to share some of our favorite picture books and picture-book inspired cookies.

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This party was so easy to plan and hold. All we did was invite a few friends over and ask them to bring their favorite Christmas picture book, plus a treat inspired by that book. That was it. We didn’t need any other food, drink, and with it being Christmas the decorations took care of themselves.

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange

At the party we started with everyone getting a plate of cookies and some hot chocolate and then settling in for story time. Then each mom read their family’s book to the group while the kid munched on their cookies. After each selection we would talk about which cookie was inspired by the book.

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Reading

Since we had five books to read, the read aloud was the only activity we did for the party other than the kids’ own play.

 This Is the Stable Dolls’ Christmas The Polar Express Nine Days to Christmas Mooseltoe

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Favorite Christmas Picture Books

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Stable

This Is the Stable

Chocolate cookies dusted with powdered sugar

Oh I love this book. When I heard it was coming to the party I was so excited because it is one of my very favorite nativity stories. The repeating refrain and rhyme makes this a joy to read and the artwork is simply incredible. Not to be missed.

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Doll

Dolls’ Christmas

Candy kiss cookies

I had never heard of this Tasha Tudor selection before, but it was simply a delight. I think the best thing about this book was seeing Miss Tara’s absolute joy in it as she read it aloud to the kids. It was a favorite from her own childhood and you could tell with every page. All of us, young and old, hung on her every word.

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Polar Express

The Polar Express

Hot Chocolate (of course)

The perineal Christmas classic was one the kids recognized and enjoyed. The artwork in this Caldecott-winning book  is a treasure. And all the kids love the story of the Christmas bell and how it rings for those who believe.

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Nine Days

Nine Days to Christmas

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Another Caldecott winner, Nine Days to Christmas tells the story of a young girl’s posada and her first piñata. A wonderful glimpse into the culture and Christmas customs of Mexico and one of Jessica’s kids favorite Christmas books.

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Moosletoe

Mooseltoe

Mustache Gingerbread

I knew there would be a good selection of touching, wonderful books, so my family went for the fun factor with this hilarious book about a moose with an absurd mustache, a busy Christmas, and a creative solution to a big problem. It’s a fun one.

To go along we made mustache cookies using these mustache cookie cutter and sticks, plus our favorite non-spicy gingerbread recipe. They were a party hit!

Christmas Picture Book Cookie Exchange Party Spread

Every family had a good selection of cookies to pack up and take home and a good time was had by all. We will definitely be making this event a holiday tradition around here.

What about you? How do you celebrate your favorite picture books at Christmas time?

Pam Barnhill

Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.
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