Every year we host a Gingerbread House decorating party. I love this annual tradition and our friends have come to count on it as we save the leftover candy year after year…great for decorating…not for eating! The key to creating this fun, relaxed party is lots of candy, a table to gather around, plenty of hot chocolate and BYOH (Bring Your Own House).
This year, I started with fun festive invitations that I created and printed myself. I am still a fan of printed invites. I get so many emails on a day to day basis, it is much easier for me to tuck a printed invite into my planner and reference it quickly when I need to!
This summer, I created Mario Mustaches for my son’s Super Mario Party...(so much fun!) so I thought for Christmas I’d make Santa ‘Staches! I used the same candy mold and white melting chocolate, added a really cute label and what a hit!
To give everyone an alternative to snacking on the decorating candy, I set up a dessert table full of some sweets along with some good-for-you eats! I used my cupcake stand for candy snowflake bark, fresh green grapes, fresh strawberries & cupcake push pops. (On a side note, if you want some fabulous ideas for creating push pop treats, you must get Courtney Dial Whitmore’s new book, “Push-Up Pops“)
I loved using my cupcake stand for more than just cupcakes and incorporating fresh fruit into the display gave the kids a healthy alternative to all the sweets…one the moms were very appreciative of! This year I embellished my cupcake stand with beads from a white glitter garland & a glass tree topper that I found at my local craft store.
We had milk, spinach artichoke pinwheels, sausage balls, & a favor bags to fill with gumballs & holiday malt chocolate balls to take home with a beautiful lollipop. I used festive labelsto label all of the food! You can purchase these and have them customized to your menu.
But the biggest hit was our Hot Chocolate Bar. This was so fun and easy to do! I used my mom’s instant hot chocolate mix (nesquik, powdered milk, & powdered sugar). The toppings consisted of mini marshmallows, crushed candy cane chips, mini chocolate chips, holiday sprinkles, reindeer Peeps marshmallows, chocolate dipped candy canes for stirrers & whip cream! The kids loved creating their own hot chocolate.
It was a wonderful party and we all created beautiful gingerbread houses that will be sure to delight throughout the holiday season! I would love to hear your favorite traditions! Share them here and link up to them on my facebook page.
Here’s to a Jolly Holiday to you all!