Even the process of shipping breakable, perishable items can be mess-proof if you keep these recommendations in mind: First, let everything cool completely. "Don't jump the gun; that's when things smear and break," Pearson says. Then make sure you have a container that's functional (food-safe and airtight) and nonbreakable. Next, arrange the food snugly inside—cookies packed too loosely are likely to arrive as crumbs—and put the container in a shipping box with plenty of packing material, like Bubble Wrap.
Want one more excuse to clear your countertops and spend a few hours in the kitchen, listening to holiday music? "People remember the gifts you made yourself—and remember you for them," Pearson says. "It's a sure bet."