If you want to give cookies as gifts for the holidays, but don't want to spend a lot of time baking and experimenting with new recipes, try an old-fashioned cookie swap. Cookie swaps enable you to make a big batch of your favorite cookies, then swap them with other bakers to get the cream of the cookie crop from everyone's repertoire.
Here's how it works: Decide whom you want to invite, then have each person bring one dozen cookies for every other guest. For example, if you have eight people planning to attend, have each person make seven dozen cookies. Encourage people to package each dozen cookies attractively in Christmas tins or other holiday containers, and to include a copy of the recipe for those who want to try baking the cookies themselves.
Everyone will go home with one container of cookies from every other person at the party, providing each person with a veritable cookie sampler. (And those who don't know you've been to a cookie swap will think you spent hours baking.) Cookie swaps can be done informally at work or by having everyone over to the host's house for refreshments and recipe-swapping. One caveat: Resist the urge to gobble down your recently acquired goodies before you get them home.