Usually around this time every year when we were younger, our mom would host our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. She would clear out the garage and fully deck it out for the party. (Oh, side note – we are from Florida, so it was beautiful weather this time of year, so I promise she wasn’t trying to freeze us.) Our mom would invite a bunch of our friends and hers, and set out everything you could possibly need to make a beautiful gingerbread house. Then, we would go to town. I loved seeing all the unique ways everyone would incorporate the candy decorations on their house. After we were done, it also made a festive display piece to add to our home. Typically though, it wouldn’t last very long. A window, a door, some roof shingles, they all would start to go missing after a day or two. Yeah, that’s right, I ate my own artwork (along with everyone else in our house). What do you think is going to happen when you leave out a lovely and tasty treat for everyone to see?
Now is the perfect time to get in the holiday spirit, spend time with family and friends, and start planning your own tradition of hosting a gingerbread house decorating party! We’ve put together some tips and ideas below to help you out.
CREATE A LIST AND SEND OUT INVITATIONS. Determine the number of people you want to invite, then just send out these adorable free gingerbread house invites we’ve created for you. Fill out the cards and send to friends, family, kids, adults… everyone loves to make gingerbread houses!
MAKE IT FESTIVE. Set the tone of the party with holiday music and adorable decorations. Our Be Merry Mini Holiday Kit has you covered. In it, you’ll receive: Santa and reindeer themed paper plates, dessert plates, napkins, Santa paper straws, reindeer cups, balloons, confetti, pinwheel decorations, candy cups, and a “Be Merry” Banner. That’s everything you need! Check out www.undercoverhostess.com for more details. (It’s always free shipping, and right now take 10% off with code HOLIDAY10.)
BUILD THE HOUSES AHEAD OF TIME. If you want to make your own gingerbread house and patterns, the Food Network has wonderful gingerbread and Royal Icing recipes. They also provide instructions on how to cut the patterns. Want an easier method? Check out the many options available for pre-packaged kits, like this one from Wilton. Even IKEA has a gingerbread house kit, and of course it’s super affordable. Celebrations provides a tutorial on how to use graham crackers and hot glue – another easy alternative to traditional gingerbread and frosting. Whichever method you choose, assembling the gingerbread houses the night before will not only save time, but help ensure they are sturdy enough for the decorations the next day.
SUPPLY THE SWEETS. Set out all kinds of candy to use for decoration. Candy canes, marshmallows, licorice, and gumdrops are always main staples. Grin and Bake It has an extensive gingerbread house candy list as well ideas on where to use different pieces. Place the house trimmings in our holiday candy cups, and scatter them around the table so they are easily within reach. To make the party more budget friendly, ask guests to bring some of their own candy decorations.
SERVE UP DRINKS AND SNACKS. To keep guests from eating all the sweet decorations, provide snacks for them to munch on while they are working. Balance out all the sweets with a few savory snacks like cream cheese and jelly tree shaped sandwiches or cut up veggies. Use these adorable reindeer cups to serve up hot cocoa with fun toppings like whipped cream and candy canes. Our Be Merry Mini Holiday Kit gives you the option of adding on coordinating disposable wooden utensils. Use the spoons in this Kit to create fun candy coated Hot Chocolate Spoons to stir into cocoa or coffee. Hello Homebody has an excellent tutorial on how to make this delicious treat!
And of course, don’t forget to have fun! Happy hosting!