Together We Sent Cookies Around the World and Raised over $10,000

January  6, 2017

Every year, thanks to the organization of Noëlle (a.k.a enbe), the Food52 community gets to participate in our annual Holiday Swap. This was the sixth event, and it was a record-setting one: 626 people from 14 countries participated!

Not only are we in awe of cookies crossing the globe and your edible-gifting skills, we’re also thankful for your generosity. Like last year, this year’s sign-up included a $5 donation (or greater!) to a fantastic organization: The Edible Schoolyard Project. You all donated a total of $5,104, and Food52 matched your donations to double our impact, for a total donation of $10,208!

It's never too early to start practicing for the 2017 swap—after all, snowflakes are still in season. Photo by James Ransom

For highlights of the hundreds of packages that made their way to happy bellies, take a moment to scroll through Tumblr and Instagram. It’s like an I Spy for holiday joy; you’ll find everything from biscotti and shortbread to local coffee beans, chocolate bars, and beer. We spotted more than one pet photobomb, a CookieBox, a family’s rum ball recipe that’s lasted for nearly a century, and many a heartfelt thanks, like this one: “I didn’t take a picture of our box because we were in the middle of an ice storm and we didn’t have power for almost a week. Needless to say, Chelsea’s amazing package was a much-needed morale boost!”

Shop the Story

We’ve shared a small sampling from grateful recipients below, along with their personal thank yous:

Oodles of thanks to Rebecca for the lovely treats from NYC!!! After a long day of working and traveling home for the holidays, it was a wonderful package to come home to, filled with homemade cookies and caramels (the peanut butter cookies are amazing!), local favorites (that [lip balm] is going to save me during the Chicago winter), and a wonderful homemade Christmas tree from your daughter. :) I adored all of it and each item brought me joy. I cannot thank you enough! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Much gratitude to Liz S. for her thoughtful and generous package of peppermint bark, butter crunch bark (truly amazing), hand-painted wooden spoons (!), Bon Appétit holiday edition, yummy snacks, a recipe for Canadian Butter Tarts, and a fun drinking card game. What a joy to open!!

Thank you so much to Christina in New Jersey! She chose a whole array of delicious favorites from the East Coast for me. I’m excited to taste and share with my family.

Thank you to @j.a.c.p.o.t from Kitchener, ON for my first ever Holiday Swap package!  Not only were there tasty homemade cookies and truffles but there was a beautiful mug and Christmas tree decorations made by Jaci!  I’m very much looking forward to having the Chocolate Raspberry Spread on my toast tomorrow whilst drinking from my new mug!  I can’t wait to take part again next year!

Abi (my very first Food52 swap partner) sent me a delightful package. Prior to taking this picture, everything was beautifully wrapped and presented (unfortunately I wanted to take it apart so that I could get a good shot of everything inside). Abi, I wanted to say a huge thank you, I mistakenly threw away the parcel bag, and have now lost your return address :( This package has been the highlight of my holidays so far, and you have me so excited to participate in the swap again next year! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! 

We just received our beautiful package of goodies from Lisa Z. in Oakland, CA! She included her handmade spiced and sugared pecans and walnuts made with her mom’s recipe, as well as her jalapeño peach jam. One of my favorites is the Santa Rosa Plum Shrub that she made from the tree in her yard for our cocktails, along with a few yummy recipes for our bar. She also gave us a rad cheese knife and plate! THANK YOU!! Merry Christmas!

This was my first year participating and I’ve had so much fun putting together a package from my swap! I received the most lovely package from Emma in North Carolina and the themed breakfast items are the best idea! I loved receiving a gift from down south in the midst of this cold weather. I can’t wait until next year! 

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I have participated in five out of the six years and has not disappointed - In fact I enjoy putting together my box to send almost more receiving - Thats the spirit of giving!!! on to next year ”
— cinnamon81758

Did you participate in the Holiday Swap? Tell us about one favorite item you received!

We hope every package made it to its destination by now, but if you signed up and sent a box, but haven't yet received one in return, please let us know. Send an email to: [email protected].


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • cinnamon81758
  • Errin Stevens
    Errin Stevens
  • catherine margaret o'donnell
    catherine margaret o'donnell
  • Stephanie
  • Nitpicker
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


cinnamon81758 January 10, 2017
I have participated in five out of the six years and has not disappointed - In fact I enjoy putting together my box to send almost more receiving - Thats the spirit of giving!!! on to next year
Errin S. January 10, 2017
Have done this for two years now and cannot WAIT to do it again. It's like getting and giving a hug from the universe.
catherine M. January 9, 2017
Packages are *so* well styled.
Stephanie January 9, 2017
I love participating. Among other amazing treats, Nichole sent me three different types of bitters: rhubarb, grapefruit, and root beer. It's been such fun trying these in different cocktails and combinations.
Nitpicker January 9, 2017
Thank you for sharing these unique and varied packages. I'm inspired for next years holiday or hostess gifts, and all for a great cause too! Clearly you keep the company of a creative and talented group.