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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.
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.
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:
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.
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@example.com.
I look forward to seeing some great swaps!