A Step-by-Step Guide for Participating in Our Community-Wide Holiday Swap

November 13, 2016

Have you heard? Sign ups for the sixth annual Holiday Swap are underway!

If this is news to you, the Holiday Swap is a community-wide food exchange (like a non-denominational Secret Santa for food-lovers) and Food52ers from all over the world join in. To make sure you have the best experience possible, we've laid out a step-by-step guide to participating.

An outline of the fun:

1) Submit your information to this form by Monday, November 28th. Spread the word and convince your favorite Food52ers to join up as well.

2) Immediately after completing Step 1, donate at least $5 dollars to the Edible Schoolyard Project, using this link.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Hi Noelle, hoping to receive my swapee's information soon so I can take advantage of this weekend to do some treat-hunting. I know you must be very busy but please send when you can :)”
— magpiebaker

3) Within a few days of Wednesday, November 30th, you will receive an email with information about your Swapee. (Make sure to add [email protected] to your address book so the email doesn't get sent to your spam folder).

4) The best part: Prepare a holiday package for your Swapee! Think of all the possibilities! Homemade is ideal (you like to cook, right?), but really the goal is to send someone a little bit of holiday joy in whatever way you know how. Maybe your Swapee's profile will give you some clues about what his or her favorite treats are, or maybe you know your passion fruit preserves will knock their socks off. Be creative!

Keep in mind that some items will survive shipping better than others—package them well! Don't worry: we'll have more tips for you about what works well for shipping—and what doesn't—when sign ups close.

5) Drop your package in the mail by Wednesday, December 14th and wait impatiently.

6) Get a package in the mail from your Secret Swapper, open with glee and take pictures before you dig in. Share them on Instagram (don’t forget to tag it with #f52holidayswap) and the Tumblr page (or email me and I will upload it to the Tumblr).

7) Thank your Gifter by snail mail, email, sky writing, or whatever your preference (PLEASE don't forget this, it's essential!).

Remember: this will only work if we all follow these guidelines. By signing up for this swap, you are promising to send a gift. Don't leave a fellow Food52er hanging! (We will find out, you will be banned from future swaps, and you will get coal in your stocking, I'm sure).

Note: For Food52ers outside the U.S.: You’re welcome, too! Because it's trickier to organize, if you are international and sign up, you're committing to sending anywhere, either in your home country or elsewhere in the world.

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


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Denise
  • JNL
  • SweetArlene
  • campbell
  • Valerie Mertsock
    Valerie Mertsock
Lover of cooking, baking, and all things involving tater tots. Organizer of the Food52 Holiday Swap.


Denise December 9, 2018
Aww, I clearly haven’t been paying attention, because I just read about this in the Seattle Times this morning, so I missed it. Hopefully next year.
What a wonderful idea!
JNL November 20, 2017
Hi -- I think I was just told that it was closed -- is that true?
SweetArlene December 9, 2016
Wish I had seen this sooner, what a lovely idea! Any room for late stragglers?
enbe December 12, 2016
The swap is closed for this year but you can add your email to the signup sheet ( to get word when it starts up next year!
campbell December 9, 2016
So sorry I missed this, will not make the same mistake next year! In the meantime, my sister and I send each other "sister treats" throughout the year. We 're sandwiched among four brothers, live 800 miles away from each other and find this a great way to stay connected
Valerie M. December 4, 2016
Hi there,

Has all the swap information been sent out? Was hoping to get mine soon and start planning. Thank you for all the organizing, so excited for my first swap!
enbe December 4, 2016
Hi Valerie, Yes I sent out your match Friday from [email protected] - maybe it got bounced to your spam folder? Would you mind emailing me there so I can respond to that email with your match? Thanks!
Valerie M. December 4, 2016
Done, Thank you!
Valerie M. December 5, 2016
So sorry, did you receive my email?
enbe December 5, 2016
Yes and I emailed back yesterday. Check your spam filter and I'll send it from another email address. Let me know if you don't get it in the next little bit.
magpiebaker December 2, 2016
Hi Noelle, hoping to receive my swapee's information soon so I can take advantage of this weekend to do some treat-hunting. I know you must be very busy but please send when you can :)
magpiebaker December 2, 2016
Yay it's here! Thank you :)
enbe December 2, 2016
Hi! Sorry for the delay!! It took a bit to confirm donations. For everyone who has donated and has complete signup forms, you should get a match by tomorrow at the latest. Thanks for your patience :)
La'Chia December 2, 2016
Good to know. I have been wondering when I would get my swapee's imformation. Looking forward to putting their box together!
aussiefoodie December 2, 2016
I was having technical difficulties with my donation, but got it completed - am I too late?
Jo-Anne December 2, 2016
I just saw this and I am sorry that I missed it but I will be sure to participate next year.
enbe December 4, 2016
Yes! You should have gotten a match the other day from [email protected]. Let me know if you didn't receive it.
Tatiana November 30, 2016
Hi there!
I signed up for the swap this year and am super excited (already narrowing down what to include in my basket :)) but for some reason my credit card wouldn't go through on Edible Schoolyard. I've tried several different cards, including one with a US address (I'm from Canada). Someone from Edible Schoolyard noticed the issue and got in contact with me - I've asked if I could pay through PayPal. In the meantime, I'm just hoping I won't lose my spot because of this? I've never had a problem with US payments in the past!
Thanks for your time,
HilBee November 17, 2016
Hi there,

I'm having difficulty signing up as well. The donation website won't let me choose my country/province! Any other Canadians having problems? Would love to be a part of this event. Thank you so much for organizing this!
Jessica W. November 19, 2016
Hi, HilBee!

Are you still having difficulties signing up? Please let me know if you were able to get your donation in to the Edible Schoolyard Project!

I'm reaching out to the organizers to find out more information for international participants donating to Edible Schoolyard.

If you are still having difficulties please contact us at [email protected] and we'll make sure we get you signed up! We're looking forward to having you join us in the Holiday Swap!
HilBee November 20, 2016
Hello! I was finally able to properly sign up and have my donation go through. I tried on a different computer and that managed to solve the issue. Thank you for checking in!
Jessica W. November 20, 2016
Perfect! Thanks so much for letting us know, and I'm so glad to hear it worked out! Have a great time with the Holiday Swap!
Vanessa November 17, 2016
I signed up yesterday...I am irrationally excited about this. Already know what I'm putting in my box!
enbe November 22, 2016
Cristina S. November 14, 2016
Just an FYI--For some reason, the link in the article was broken. I made a $5 contribution in my name, but I couldn't name Food52!
enbe November 14, 2016
Thanks for letting us know! We'll get on that. For anyone else, this is the correct link:
Cristina, I'll make a note of this for your signup. Good to have you back :)
Cristina S. November 14, 2016
It worked once I filled out the Swap form! So I made two donations :)
enbe November 14, 2016
Great. Thanks for being extra generous!
Cristina S. November 14, 2016
Haha, a whole $10! :)
Jharna H. November 14, 2016
Hi there - I've signed up and am trying to do the contribution, but it won't accept it - I've tried three different credit cards - all come back with the same error -2: 27 The transaction has been declined because of an AVS mismatch. The address provided does not match billing address of cardholder. Not sure why this is happening, as the details I have input are correct. I'm wondering if it's because I'm located in Australia. Is it possible to do a donation via Paypal?
enbe November 14, 2016
I'm sorry to hear. Thanks for letting us know. You're the second person from Australia who is having problems with this. I would suggest contacting Edible Schoolyard Project directly- since we are not directly associated with the organization- and they should be able to help. I'm also contacting them on my end. Let us know if you continue to have problems!
Jharna H. November 14, 2016
Thanks for your reply - I've just sent them a note. Hopefully I can get it sorted out soon. Looking forward to participating in the swap!
Jharna H. November 28, 2016
I got in touch with the organisation and they changed a website setting, but it still didn't work. I've just sent them my card details so that they can process my donation manually - hopefully that will be done overnight.
enbe November 29, 2016
Jharna, Sorry for the confusion. Whether or not it's able to go through, you're signed up for trying!
Jharna H. November 29, 2016
All sorted! Emilie at Edible Schoolyard Project confirmed she processed my donation. YAY! I am also irrationally excited for this, woo hoo!