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In the midst of a busy holiday season, an unexpected package filled with homemade goodies and thoughtful little gifts can bring a great deal of joy. You can give that day-brightening feeling to a fellow Food52 member and get it back in return simply by participating in our community-wide Holiday Swap. This is the last day to sign up, so don't miss out!
While you patiently wait to get the name and address of your Swapee (expect to hear from Noëlle, the creator of our Holiday Swap, by around December 1), here are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind as you plan out your package:
- Unless otherwise requested, each package should ideally include at least one homemade item—if you're not sure where to start, we have plenty of ideas for you below! We know the holiday season can get crazy though, so if you run out of time to bake cookies, please remember to still give thoughtfully and pack a box that you would be excited to open.
- The packages should have a value of at least $25 including home cooking, which of course is priceless, so value your homemade brownies and brittles highly! Consider including enough for a household to enjoy.
- Packages should be in the mail by Wednesday, December 13th—unless your recipient notes an alternate date.
Ready to get going? We've got lots of ideas that are good contenders for a care package—and a few things to pass on, too:
- Skip anything USPS (or whatever shipping company you're using) tells you not to ship.
- Don't include anything perishable or prone to melting, rotting, or otherwise becoming gross by the time it reaches your recipient.
- Include quick breads and little cakes with caution. Even if they're wrapped well enough to survive the journey and stay fresh, they could get smooshed unless you pack them thoughtfully.
Sturdy Cookies & Bars
Cookies, bars, and biscotti are the mainstays of holiday swap packages. Just remember to save crumbly cookies, like sables, for lucky recipients in your own neck of the woods.
Nut mixes and more
Nutty snack mixes and other nut-laden treats like brittles, toffee, barks, and granola are all resilient, making them a smart choice for shipping.
Preserves, Candy, and other sweet treats
fun (non-homemade) extras
Of course, everything you tuck inside your package needn't be homemade, anything you can (safely) ship is fair game. Surprise your recipient with a book you've recently read and loved, edible treats from a local artisan, or little gifts like these found in our Shop:
Wood Winter Forest
For even more ideas, peruse the Food52 Holiday Swap Instagram to get inspired by the gifts Food52-ers have sent each other in past swaps (and don't forget to tag yours with #f52holidayswap).
Tell us: What will you be including in your packages this year? Or, if you don't want to reveal the surprise, what would you be delighted to receive?