The holiday season is in full swing and who doesn’t love a gingerbread decorating party? I know … the mom who has to plan, host and clean up! In addition to the added tasks this season will bring, hosting a gingerbread party may be the last thing on your mind. Gingerbread decorating happens to be one of my favorite traditions, so this year I allowed my daughters to invite friends over to join in the fun. Below are a few details to help with hosting a very simple gingerbread decorating party.
If the word gingerbread house makes you cringe, I have just the trick for you. Hot glue is a game-changer for assembling gingerbread homes. Have you ever spent hours assembling and decorating a home only to wake up to find your roof slid right off during the night? Instead of assembling the home with icing, plug in your hot glue gun and have the houses assembled before the party starts or before you sit to decorate with your family. Of course, you will not be able to eat the gingerbread if using hot glue, but have you ever eaten the house after decorating anyway?
For those completely opposed to the idea of assembling a house made of fragile gingerbread, skip that completely and opt for gingerbread men. I like to use Ambrosia Bakery for the plain gingerbread cookies which can be purchased for a little over a dollar each. With gingerbread men, I also purchase the cookie icing in a bottle which can be piped right onto the cookie. For toppings, the sky is the limit when it comes to candy. Our favorites include chocolate chips, marshmallows, gumdrops, candy eyes, and gummy Christmas trees.
Food and Drink:
This time of year is incredibly busy, so when hosting a gingerbread party for children, remember to keep it very simple. Younger children will remember the fun they had decorating cookies and eating candy. Most other details of the party will go unnoticed. For food, think of your children’s favorite lunch box items. Cheese, crackers, fruit, and chips make for the perfect party snacks. Having the party in the afternoon and not at a mealtime also makes planning easier. My teenager added a hot chocolate bar for her party. We used a gallon of store-bought chocolate milk, heated it up on the stove, and placed it into a mini crockpot to keep warm. For a hot chocolate bar, you can throw in candy cane stirring sticks, marshmallows, crushed peppermint or peppermint-flavored coffee creamer.
The number one rule, KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!! For easy clean up, be sure to cover the workspace with a plastic table cloth. We purchased simple decorations online at Michaels. When the party is over, simply fold up the table cloth and throw it into the garbage.
Often, when hosting a party for children, we overthink the activities. A perfect game for this type of party is a gift exchange. We set a ten dollar limit for my younger daughter, and the girls had lots of fun swapping and stealing gifts from each other. However, every minute of the party does not have to be planned. The girls also enjoyed running around the backyard and playing games together inside. The teenagers, on the other hand, were a much rowdier group! Their party consisted of decorating gingerbread houses, a gift exchange, and lots of singing Christmas karaoke.
In the end, fun was had by everyone. Keeping the details of the party very simple allowed me to pull off hosting without feeling overwhelmed. I hope you can do the same with these easy tips.