Cake plates and cookie platters
I purchased a couple from a wonderful seller on etsy.com, but you can certainly make, buy or borrow your own. To stick with my shabby chic theme, I went with two cake stands from The Cottage Market on etsy:
And this one:
Super cute, huh?
Displaying the cookies on platters and stands of varying height is the key to a great tablescape. Don't have cake stands? No problem. Place a number of different sized, sturdy boxes (3-4 should do) on your table and cover them with a tablecloth. Tuck the tablecloth around the boxes and voila! A perfectly tiered table, ready to be topped with plates of cookies!
If you don't have fancy cookie platters, you can add simple paper doillies to your regular dinner plates. For an added touch, stamp them lightly with strongly brewed tea! The result will be a beautiful, sepia toned vintage doilie guaranteed to dress up any boring 'ol plate!
If you have the time and table space, play around with different placement options before the party. You'll be glad you did! (A cookie exchange tip: you will need one platter/plate/cake stand for every two guests to display their cookies on.)
Stay tuned for more tips and etsy sellers who can help make your holiday cookie exchange a hit!