Christmas Cookie Boxes: Baking Holiday Gifts With Love

I love to bake, and I love Christmas. So, I've mastered the art of gifting Christmas cookie boxes to my family and friends every year. Here's how I do it.

Published December 12, 2023
Christmas cookie box with gingerbread in rustic wood kitchen

Homemade gifts are a thoughtful and budget-friendly way to give your loved ones something meaningful for Christmas. Every year, I make Christmas cookie boxes to share my love of baking with all my friends and family. These aren't just boxes of cookies — these are Christmas boxes packed with holiday treats and tons of love.

How to Make Christmas Cookie Boxes for Friends and Family

Baking has always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas. So, I came up with the idea of making Christmas cookie gift boxes a few years ago. It started as an easy way to share small gifts with coworkers, but it's since become something my loved ones get excited about each year. I like to call them my boxes of Christmas cheer, and this is how I pull it off each year. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

Making a ton of cookies, packing them into boxes, and delivering them to everyone is a lot of work. That's why it is such a thoughtful gift. But it does require quite a bit of planning if you want to pull it off with as little stress as possible.

Early in the season, usually before Thanksgiving, I plan how many boxes I'll need and everything I want to include. That plan allows me to start shopping for packaging and ingredients ahead of time and plugging time into my holiday schedule to get the baking and delivery done. 

Choose the Right Cookies

Child hand picking up a christmas cookie from the tin box

A successful round of cookie boxes starts with the right cookie selections. Some cookies are best suited for storage in boxes, while others don't travel well.

I try to stick to cookies with longer shelf lives, like traditional sugar cookies, butter cookies, and shortbreads. I usually avoid anything that crumbles easily or has temperature-sensitive ingredients like cream cheese. 

It's also important to think about the sizes, texture, and flavors of your cookies. You don't want to include a box of all chocolate cookies or a selection of only crunchy cookies. I try to include all these in one box when possible, keeping in mind that some cookies check off multiple taste and texture points:

Quick Tip

I also like to include a mix of popular recipes, beloved family recipes, and new recipes of my own creation each year.

Find Cute Cookie Boxes

The cookies inside your box may be delicious, but the container you present them in will be the first thing friends and family see. My little trick is to find adorable cookie tins and boxes at dollar stores right when Christmas decor hits the shelves and use those for close friends and family. For large batches or big Christmas gatherings, I like to order cardboard Christmas treat boxes on Amazon

Be Sure You Make Enough

Guessing how many cookies to include in each box is one of the toughest parts of making Christmas cookies as gifts. So, I came up with a formula that's worked for the past few years, and I haven't heard a complaint yet.

  • Assuming one box is for 1-2 people, I include 8-10 cookies featuring 3-5 different cookie flavors.
  • For families with children, I make one additional box for every two children (so a family with two parents and four children would receive three boxes).
  • If I know a certain person loves a particular cookie, I always include a couple of extras.
Helpful Hack

I keep a few bags of popular Christmas candy on hand to toss into the box in the event I've miscalculated or the box just has too many gaps.

Start Baking 1-2 Days Before

Mother and daughter making Gingerbread cookies for Christmas

Take it from me. If you try to do all the baking, decorating, boxing, and delivering in one day, you will be beyond stressed. Over the years, I've learned to dedicate a few hours a day for a few days to get the boxes done without overwhelming myself.

For cookies that keep exceptionally well or require decorating, I bake them two days in advance. For everything else, I save it for the final 24 hours before I plan to give out the boxes. Some years, I've even split the work into two cookie box batches depending on when I'll be seeing certain recipients. 

Include a Cookie Menu

Cookie boxes are not a new concept. But I'm willing to bet that not many people include a Christmas card-inspired menu for their cookie giftees.

When I'm giving cookies as gifts, it's so much more than a sweet treat that I'm hoping to share. Christmas cookies represent precious holiday memories and Christmas traditions, so sharing those with the people I care about feels like a gift itself. That's why I always include a little menu with a note about each cookie and where the recipe came from. It gives it a chocolate-box type of feel and helps recipients know which cookie they may enjoy the most.

Quick Tip

I like to use Christmas card printing services like Shutterfly or Canva to make my little menus with a Christmas greeting on the front.

Give the Gift of Baking This Year

Baking a ton of cookies and loading them into boxes isn't a quick or simple homemade Christmas gift. But it sure is fun to do and makes a thoughtful gift. Most people love receiving homemade gifts they can eat, and cookies are a holiday favorite. So, bake some Christmas cheer this year and share your love of sweets with those you care about.

Christmas Cookie Boxes: Baking Holiday Gifts With Love