Share the Love (of Baked Goods) and Join Our Community-Wide Gift Exchange

November 10, 2016

Community is extremely important to us. It's something that we work hard at nurturing, and we’re also continuously touched by the thoughtful actions you all take on a regular basis to build that sense of community as well—from encouraging comments on recipes, to calls to start local cookbook clubs on the Hotline, to the generous act of creating and organizing our community-wide Holiday Swap.

Five years ago, Food52er Noëlle (a.k.a. enbe) started our Holiday Swap with a simple post on the Hotline, calling for interested participants to join in a holiday food exchange. We’re incredibly grateful that she has continued to work with us on it every year since. It's no small task, given its growth (the first Swap had around 100 participants—it has swelled to as many as 350 around the world) and the fact that she’s a full-time PhD student.

Photo by James Ransom

This is the sixth annual event, and whether you’ve participated every year or have never heard of the Holiday Swap before, we encourage you to sign up. Food is what brings us all together, and this is a fun way to share homemade treats, recipes, and traditions that are important to you with another member of the Food52 community. You'll get all of that back in return—and make memories and a new connection to boot.

Shop the Story

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be properly introducing you to Noëlle, sharing pictures of gifts from past swaps, and stories like this one from Gabriela Maria:

The person I swapped with and I ended up liking to the whole thing so much that we made it a year-round/ foodie pen pal thing. We switch months sending each other a food item, whether it's homemade cookies a grandmother's recipe or a set of ice cream spoons purchased on a recent vacation.

For now, here’s a little bit more from Noëlle about the Swap and how to sign up:

Photo by James Ransom

In the midst of menu planning for the Thanksgiving I’m hosting, I’m getting giddy looking forward to my favorite holiday event, the Food52 Holiday Swap, our community’s very own holiday goodies exchange.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Yes! Yes! Yes! So glad you're willing to keep taking this on Noëlle - it's a holiday highlight, for sure!”
— Stephanie

It's like a non-denominational Secret Santa, where Food52 users from all over send packages—filled with cookies, breads, preserves, candies, local treats…you name it!—to a fellow Food52er. It's our way of spreading some holiday cheer to other people in this wonderful community. (You can see some of these warm, fun, and truly wonderful packages of holiday joy on the holiday swap Tumblr.)

To promote honesty and to extend our positive influence, a $5 donation (or greater!) to a fantastic organization—The Edible Schoolyard Project—will be required as part of this year's sign-up, as we did last year. (You find full instructions on how to do so when you sign up for the swap.) Food52 will be matching your donations once again, so we'll double our impact! (Last year a total of $3,433 was donated to help bring edible education curriculum to schools!)

If you're interested in joining in on the festivities, sign up here by November 28th and be prepared to ship your package by December 14th. And then head here for the full, step-by-step guide to participating in the Holiday Swap!

Once you receive your gift, use the hashtag #f52holidayswap for photos you share on Instagram so the rest of the community can see what’s being gifted.

Any questions? You can reach me at [email protected].

I look forward to seeing some great swaps!


Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
View Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

View Maker

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Rebecca
  • S. Raelynne Becerra
    S. Raelynne Becerra
  • Kimberly Nichols
    Kimberly Nichols
  • judy
  • aussiefoodie
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Rebecca December 8, 2016
Any updates? I still haven't received an e-mail about my swapee, and there's almost no way I'd be able to ship by 14 Dec. at this point.
S. R. December 8, 2016
The match e-mails went out, or at least I got mine over the weekend, check your spam folder maybe?
Rebecca December 8, 2016
I was keeping close track of all my e-mails including my spam folder. I never got anything. I'll contact Noelle and see if it could be resent.
S. R. December 2, 2016
First time signing up and super excited. Will we have enough time to post and ship our packages though? I know matching is happening soon but it's already December and the due date is coming up rapidly.
magpiebaker December 2, 2016
Same question! Definitely want to know who my swapee is, so I can use this weekend to find some extra goodies (next weekend is totally booked...) @enbe hope you see this, we are eagerly awaiting an email from you :)
Lindsay-Jean H. December 2, 2016
Thanks for your patience! We're thrilled that we've had a huge turnout this year, but that also means more matching work for Noëlle, along with double-checking to make sure that everyone who signed up has donated. Hopefully folks are still able to ship by mid-December (within a couple of days of the 14th), if necessary we'll readdress the ship date.
Kimberly N. December 1, 2016
I made the donation and signed up pre-Thanksgiving. I haven't heard anything since. Just checking...don't want to miss details!
Lindsay-Jean H. December 1, 2016
You haven't missed anything! Noëlle is working hard on matching participants and notifications should be going out soon.
Kimberly N. December 1, 2016
Yay! Thank you very much.
judy November 28, 2016
Silly me, I've forgotten my food 52 name! Please help
Lindsay-Jean H. November 28, 2016
Do you mean for donating? It's just your username, in your case, judy!
aussiefoodie November 22, 2016
Will there be an attempt to pair together people in the same country? I live in Australia and posting perishable or heavier items can be difficult, but I'd love to participate.
enbe November 22, 2016
Yes! When possible, I will pair people within the same country. There are enough Australians (and people in the UK & Canada for others reading) to have mini swaps there. November 18, 2016
How do I change the food swap item I have already entered? It brings me back to the donation site which I have already done. How do I do that with donating again?
Lindsay-Jean H. November 20, 2016
Hi there, I'm not sure what you mean by the food swap item, but if you've donated, and filled out the sign-up form (here: then you're all set!
mcs3000 November 11, 2016
I am so looking forward to joining again. Thank you for organizing this!
Rebecca S. November 11, 2016
First time joining and I'm so stoked! Thanks for organizing this!!!
mrslarkin November 10, 2016
Hooray! It's the most wonderful time of the year!
gingerroot November 12, 2016
Woo-hoo! Possibly my favorite thing about Food52!
Etta November 10, 2016
So excited! Thank you for keeping this tradition going.
Panfusine November 10, 2016
Done! this has definitely been the most cheerful thing I've done since Tuesday.
Anne-Marie N. November 10, 2016
Very timely with the note we received from Amanda and Merrill on how food can be instrumental in bringing people together. A tasteful way to reach out to a perfect stranger. Love it!
Ash A. November 10, 2016
Can't wait to sign up! Just heard about it from the Facebook Live broadcast.
Stephanie November 10, 2016
Yes! Yes! Yes! So glad you're willing to keep taking this on Noëlle - it's a holiday highlight, for sure!
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 10, 2016
DONE! I was hoping this year there would be a community voting poll for a different food-related charity (although this was is wonderful.). Can't wait for the fun. Thank you, Noelle!
Lindsay-Jean H. November 10, 2016
Thanks Chops, will keep your suggestion in mind for next year!