I began decorating gingerbread houses as a Christmas tradition at a young age, and now my husband and I host a gingerbread house party every December for our children and our nieces/nephews. This tradition continues but with a new version of houses this year!
[This post contains sponsored links. The items featured and linked in this post were all provided by JOANN; all opinions and reviews are my own.]
A few years back, I wrote a three-part blog series on Christmas traditions, including our annual Gingerbread house decorating party. You can begin the series here. (Included in this series is the DIY gingerbread house template that my grandparents used for us as children that we used for years.) We love hosting this party every year. Andy typically cuts and glues the cardboard houses the Friday night before and finishes them up on Saturday. While we’ve loved this method, we wanted to try a revised version this year.
We found these Wilton Gingerbread House 2020 kits at JOANN! They were a perfect size and looked wonderful, so much so that it encouraged us to try them out in place of the cardboard frames. They also come with some really fun items as part of the kit, including real gingerbread pieces, candies, icing, and fondant.
It was time to try out these kits this past Saturday morning. We lined them all up, grabbed some coffee, and got started assembling them.
One thing we didn’t change was using hot glue! While you can use icing to “build” the houses, we found that hot glue will reinforce the home’s structure, making it extra sturdy for adding icing and lots of candies. We hot glued each house together and onto the cardboard piece.
Next up, we set them around two different tables giving each participant plenty of room to build (TIP: You may want to be careful about making sure you’re socially distanced if you’re inviting guests. Our “circle” has included our extended family since the beginning of the pandemic so we aren’t socially distanced here. But for our other gatherings this Christmas, we’ve worn masks and been aware of spacing.) Don’t they look so cute already?!
We love having tons of candy, and with the candy, lots of variety!
My mom makes the “Royal Icing” for the party. She typically brings a large batch made and then continues to make more as the party is happening. As adults, we all chip in and help spread the icing on various sides of the house so the children can decorate them one at a time. We have the best time with our children and nieces and nephews!
There are a total of 11 children making their houses. We love seeing how each one turns out so unique to them! Some love creating patterns, some love lots of colors, while others enjoy making Christmas themed items to add to their home’s yards.
This Christmas tradition revisited was a huge success! Using the gingerbread house kits here from JOANN added ease but didn’t compromise the process or outcome. We are huge fans of this new way of making homes.
Whether you DIY gingerbread houses from cardboard templates like we did for so many years or use these amazing gingerbread house kits, spending time with your loved ones making memories at Christmas is what is most important.
I hope you and yours will give it a go and adapt this special Christmas tradition to suit your family’s personality and make-up.