Greetings from F52 HQ

Ready, Set, Wrap: The 2019 Holiday Swap Is Here!

You can sign up now to spread a whole lot of holiday cheer (and get a slew of tasty treats in return).

November  3, 2019

For 10 years, Food52 has been a gathering place for people who believe food is the center of a life well-lived. We support and connect home cooks of all stripes; share the handiest tools for every room in the home; and travel the world to bring back tips, stories, and delicious recipes to give to one another. Food brings our community together, and our community makes Food52 a home.

Which is why we’re excited to announce the return of our favorite community event of the year: The Food52 Holiday Swap.

If you haven't been involved in the Swap before, here's a mini-history lesson: Nine years ago, F52er Noëlle (aka, enbe) posted on the Hotline, suggesting a simple, food-centered gift exchange that was sure to bring a whole lot of joy. Noëlle has so graciously worked together with us, year after year, to make the Swap happen, and we couldn't be more grateful. As you can imagine, it involves lots of coordination; in 2018 alone, Noëlle made sure 1,107 people from 15 countries around the globe could all join in on the fun! (And in case you missed the recap in the New York Times, we can assure you a good time was had by all.)

F52ers always give the most thoughtful gifts to each other (check out #f52holidayswap on Instagram and our account here), and they're also thoughtful in giving back: All participants donate $5 (or more) to Food52's annual charity partner.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Can you give us an idea of the quantity or volume or monetary value of the gift that would be appropriate? For instance, is one variety or five of cookies expected? I realize flexibility and creativity will be at play, but I would appreciate some guidance. Thanks.”
— Marilyn C.

This year, we're teaming up with one of our favorite charities, No Kid Hungry: It's a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America through before-and after-school meal plans; food skills and nutrition education programs for families; and research, policy, and advocacy measures. We're thrilled to support this important cause once again, having raised more than $15,000 alongside them in our 2017 Swap.

So come one, come all—seasoned Holiday Swappers and Swappers-to-Be! We encourage everyone to participate in one of the warmest, funnest ways to share homemade goodies, recipes, and traditions with other Food52ers. You'll get all of that good cheer (and snacks) back in return, making cherished memories and new friends along the way.

Interested in joining? Read on for a a step-by-step guide, written by none other than Noëlle.

How To Participate In The Holiday Swap

Who doesn't love surprise packages, especially around the holidays and especially from fellow members of our lovely Food52 community? Here, back for its ninth year, is the Holiday Swap—and it's about that time to sign on up!

1) Submit your information to this form by Monday, Nov. 18. (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.

2) Right after that, contribute a donation of at least $5 to No Kid Hungry. A small-but-mighty donation allows for the most community members to participate.

3) Receive an email with your Swapee's name and address by Tuesday, Nov. 26. Make sure to add [email protected] to your address book so the email doesn't get sent to your spam folder. (And note that even though that we call it a "swap," you just might send to and receive a gift from different folks, getting a chance to interact with two F52ers instead of one!)

Pack it up, pack it in, let holiday cheer begin! Photo by Julia Gartland

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 all their favorite treats, or maybe you can just tell your banana jam will make the perfect companion to their morning toast. Be creative: Keep in mind that some items will survive shipping better than others, so please 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 Tuesday, Dec. 10 and try to sit tight.

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 say enough how essential this step is, so try not to forget, please!)

By signing up for this swap, you are promising to send a gift. Don't leave a fellow Food52er hanging! (We will find out, and unfortunately, you will not be allowed to participate in future swaps.)

For community members 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 us at [email protected].

What's your favorite way to spread holiday cheer? Share in the comments section below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Rebecca Firkser
    Rebecca Firkser
  • Melissa Choi
    Melissa Choi
  • SophieL
  • Miss_Karen
  • Stephanie
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Rebecca F. November 26, 2019
HELLO SWAP PARTICIPANTS! There was a delay in confirming donation emails from No Kid Hungry, so we are running a few days behind in terms of sending out swap matches. Due to gmail sending limits, we can only send out 300 emails per day—and over 1000 of you are participating! Please be patient while we send out all matches, and try to wait until December 1 to email us about not yet being matched. Thank you!!
Melissa C. November 25, 2019
is there any way to get in this year i have done it for the past few years not sure how i missed the deadline - so sad....
SophieL November 23, 2019
I got an email, too, about verifying my donation. I actually made 2 donations to No Kid Hungry, because on the first one, I made a typo on my email address and didn't realize it until after the fact. I figured it would be such a hassle to correct my mistake so I made a second donation, making sure my email address was correct. I have my PayPal authorizations (both of them), but don't know how to send screenshots. I hope, hope, hope I'm not disqualified from the Holiday Swap. I've participated the last several years and love it! Thank you.
enbe November 23, 2019
Looks like we got your confirmation - thanks! We apologize for the hassle, it's an imperfect process confirming all of the donations for everyone and we'll keep working to streamline it!
SophieL November 23, 2019
Whew!! Thanks so much for all your hard work
Miss_Karen November 23, 2019
I just got an email that indicated there wasn't any verification of my donation. I don't have the receipt, since it was in my car- that is now totaled due to a severe rear end collision. The receipt, along with some other personal items, and my car are sitting in some salvage yard- unknown to me since I was taken to ER.
PLEASE don't prevent my participation! I have been looking forward to this swap.
I can provide my bank statement, which shows the donation November 8th. I have to use the library for internet. I didn't want my credit card info hanging around on a public computer so I donated, then deleted the form. Thus it is not available for a 'screen shot.'
enbe November 23, 2019
I am so so sorry to hear all that! I hope you're feeling better. What you sent along should be just fine - don't worry, you'll stay part of the swap! Again, we apologize for the hassle - matching donations to swapees is an imperfect process!
Miss_Karen November 24, 2019
Ok. Thank you.
The doctor's say I MIGHT be able to return to work on December 4th. But, the concussion is not healing as fast as they hoped.
Stephanie November 19, 2019
Shoot! I missed the deadline by a day. I love this tradition. Have fun everyone!
Lesley J. November 17, 2019
I am so thrilled to participate this year. I look forward to sharing some holiday treats! This is my first time I have participated and I am excitedly considering what to make and share, and how to represent my city too!
Maria Y. November 17, 2019
The No KId Hungry page doesn't work outside the US so we can't make a donation!! Can you help us plz?
enbe November 17, 2019
This is unfortunately a consequence of a firewall No Kid Hungry has up. Please email them at [email protected] and they should be able to help you out. Go ahead and sign up in the meantime.
Maria Y. November 24, 2019
I have contacted them. Thank you very much. :)
SophieL November 7, 2019
I'm so excited to participate again this year, my third time. The gifts I've received have varied and each one was delicious. I've had as much fun giving as receiving. The Food52 community is like no other - gifted, generous, great cooks! I can hardly wait to get the name of my Swapee!
Karen K. November 7, 2019
This sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, we just had 7 major emergencies (including a dead stove! Even a raise-dead-fully spell can't save it...) and I just can't afford it this year, unless I suddenly hit a jackpot somewhere. I'll have to look forward to next year.
walkie74 November 5, 2019
I screwed up and made my donation under a different email than the one I used for the swap. HALP
Shelley M. November 6, 2019
Just realized, I did too.
enbe November 6, 2019
Email [email protected] and we'll make sure to note that. Thanks!
enbe November 6, 2019
Please email [email protected] with both emails to let us know!
Solveig M. November 5, 2019
Can you help? It says in the text that us outside the US are welcome to participate too, but the NoKidHungry donation page ( is blocked outside the US, so in practice we can't :(
Rebecca November 18, 2019
See enbe's response to Maria Y. below.
campbell November 3, 2019
I've loved this idea since it started! However, I've never jumped in because presentation is not my strong suit. Is that a deal killer?
Kate W. November 3, 2019
Don't let that deter you! I've gotten very homemade packages with no real frills and that's OK too!
Rebecca November 4, 2019
I, too, have gotten a variety of package types. For me the fun is getting whatever my swapper wants to send, however they want to send it. I always love what I get, because it's sent with love and care
Barbra F. November 3, 2019
I did this last year and loved it. I would really like to do it again but I have a problem this year, I will be in London until 12/9, Do you think it would be fair to ask someone to wait until the 12-13 for their package to be sent?? I was thinking I could get lots of fun UK treats. I don't want to disappoint anyone if it comes late. I would really like input on this.
Rebecca November 4, 2019
I wouldn't mind waiting! Not sure how the powers that be feel about it, but I'd guess most people would love the chance to get international treats! (well, at least I would...)
enbe November 4, 2019
As long as you communicate to your gifter beforehand that you might miss the deadline, I'm sure they'd be excited to get something a little late. Like all things in life, communication is key!
Miss_Karen November 17, 2019
I think the December 10 mailing date allows for a bit of leeway. I know I would be overjoyed to get a box that included things from the UK!
Kate W. November 3, 2019
So excited to do this again, it has been a fun holiday tradition for me and I love sending even more than receiving.
Amy November 3, 2019
I second Marilyn C.'s comment. Advice, please!
pearse November 3, 2019
Do we get a chance to communicate with our assigned swapper before we sent out the package or is it a secret mission ?
Katie November 3, 2019
It's mostly a secret mission, though if you add your Instagram account or update your profile on this site, your Swapee will have a better understanding of what you like. For instance, if you're Vegan or Lactose Intolerant you'll want to note that on the form, but other than that it's mostly whatever you want to make or package! It's been so fun the past couple of years!
enbe November 4, 2019
Most people send gifts without contacting their giftee ahead of time but it's up to you if you'd like to reach out. It's all about making connections!
Terrill November 5, 2019
You can also see if they're on instagram or facebook or have a blog and see if you can pick out anything that could relate to them. I found out my person liked to hike so added in some alpaca socks to the box of treats. It was fun
Marilyn C. November 3, 2019
Can you give us an idea of the quantity or volume or monetary value of the gift that would be appropriate? For instance, is one variety or five of cookies expected? I realize flexibility and creativity will be at play, but I would appreciate some guidance. Thanks.
Kate W. November 3, 2019
As a past participant, I think they may address this in the email coming to you with your swapper. I've gotten entirely homemade gifts in the swap and other years I've gotten a homemade item among other local treats or baking tools.
Kate W. November 3, 2019
Checked past emails and the amount is $25
enbe November 4, 2019
We always say "gift as you would like to be gifted" but we request the package has a value of at least $25 (how you value homemade cookies is up to you). Ideally it'll be enough treats for a small family to share and there are often a few different types of items in the package - one batch of cookies and nothing else will probably be on the less generous side. Check out the instagram for ideas from previous packages!