For me Christmas isn’t about the things, it’s about the traditions and one of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating Gingerbread Houses. We have always hosted our family Christmas gathering and with a house full of people and lots of food prep going on, I wanted to have something fun to occupy the kids and that is when the Gingerbread house decorating extravaganza started. I love the candy, the icing, the endless possibilities of decor and of course the fun I have with my children and their friends!
Smarties, Twizzlers, Skittles and Starbursts are all great for decorating. I keep my eye out for the red and green M&Ms and buy them the minute they hit the shelves because I made the mistake of waiting one year and couldn’t find them anywhere. Necco wafers are a must for my gingerbread house roof and since they can be hard to find, I order them online. Marshmallows and pretzels make great roofs too and are easier for the little ones to use.
Aprons are the perfect favor for this party. You can make simple ones that match your decorations or buy plain ones and decorate. I added gingerbread men cookie cutters at each setting. I tied a ribbon so they could use it as a tree ornament and remember the fun day we spent together.
I am a firm believer that you can never have too much icing. I make a huge batch and fill individual icing bags with simple decorating tips for each guest. I used bakers twine to tie the end and add a little pizazz. I have made my gingerbread before and if you have the time, go for it. It makes the house smell amazing but if you’re like me and need a short cut there are plenty of kits available. (You can also make them out of graham crackers) Here is a trade secret for you; I hot glue them together before everyone arrives and glue them on a cake round so they don’t slide all over the place. This lesson was learned the hard way when my boys were little and half way through the decorating process all the houses collapsed, trust me on this one.
Sugar cones turn into Christmas trees with green icing and colorful candy. You can also make fun ones out of pretzel sticks and green candy coating. You will need to make a lot of these because they disappear quickly…..just look for the green teeth to find the culprits.
North Pole cupcakes are easy and just adorable on the table. White icing, coconut flakes, peppermint stick and a red M&M attached on the top with a little dot of icing.
What Christmas traditions does your family cherish? How ever you celebrate I hope you have the merriest of merry and the happiest of happy for you and yours!