From the very beginning, Food52 has been a place to connect with people who love food. It’s where we talk about cooking tips and techniques and tools, a place to share triumphs and not-yet-successes, over-the-top showstoppers and humble heirlooms. The result? A collaborative, creative community that challenges how we approach the kitchen, and how we find joy in every nook and cranny of the home.
And, today, we’re excited to kick off one of our very favorite community efforts: The Food52 Holiday Swap.
What’s the Holiday Swap, you ask? Think of it like a non-denominational Secret Santa that’s especially for food lovers. Eight years ago, F52er Noëlle (aka, enbe) started our Swap with a post on the Hotline, calling for holiday cheer with a simple food exchange. We’re incredibly grateful that Noëlle continues to work with us every year since. (It's no small task—last year's Swap had more than 600 participants from around the world!)
Every year, F52ers do a great job, not only in giving gifts (check out #f52holidayswap on Instagram and our account here), but also in giving back: All participants donate $5 (or more) to Food52's annual charity partner. This year, we're supporting Action Against Hunger, a global, non-profit humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger, saving the lives of malnourished children, and working to ensure everyone can access clean water, food, training, and healthcare.
Whether you’ve participated every year or have never heard of the Holiday Swap before, we encourage you to sign up—everyone is welcome! Food is what brings us together, and this is a fun way to share homemade goodies, recipes, and traditions with other members of the Food52 community. You'll get all of that back in return—and make memories and new connections, to boot.
Interested in joining? Read on for a a step-by-step guide from Noëlle.
Who doesn't love surprise packages, especially around the holidays and especially from fellow members of our lovely Food52 community? Here, back for its eighth year, is the Holiday Swap—and sign-up time is upon us!
1) Submit your information to this form by Monday, Nov. 19. (You'll need to sign up for a Food52 account first if you don't already have one.) Spread the word and convince your favorite F52ers to join up as well.
3) Receive an email with your Swapee's name and address by Sunday, Nov. 25. Make sure to add [email protected] to your address book so the email doesn't get sent to your spam folder. (And note that despite the fact that we call it a "swap," you'll likely be sending to and receiving from different folks—that way you to get to interact with two F52ers instead of one!)
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 their favorite treats are, or maybe you know your tomato jam will knock their socks off. Be creative: Keep in mind that some items will survive shipping better than others, so package them well.
Psst—an idea! Great things happen when we gather together. This year, we're encouraging Swap participants to package their gifts together, and share photos of their parties by using #f52holidayswap on Instagram. We'll be doing the same at our office in New York!
5) Drop your package in the mail by Monday, Dec. 10 and wait
6) Get a package in the mail from your Secret Swapper and open with glee! Take pictures before you dig in and share them on Instagram—tag them with #f52holidayswap.
7) Thank your Swapper by snail mail, email, skywriting, or your preferred method of communication. (We can't emphasize enough how important this step is, so please don't forget—it's essential!)
By signing up for this swap, you are promising to send a gift. Don't leave a fellow F52er hanging! (We will find out, and unfortunately, you will be banned from future swaps.)
F52ers outside the U.S.—you’re welcome, too! Note, though, that if you are international and sign up, you're committing to sending anywhere, either in your home country or elsewhere in the world.
Have any questions? Ask them in the comments, or email Noëlle at [email protected]
What's your favorite way to spread holiday cheer? Share in the comments section below!