The grands are getting older, and therefore much more able to decorate gingerbread houses. For the older two, decorating is the goal instead of consuming vast amounts of sugar from the icing and candy. The younger three, well, sugar is the main goal.
Nana got smart this year and combined gingerbread house decor with Thanksgiving Dinner and Smashing of the Pumpkins. Once December hits, the schedule goes from zero to 100 mph and Christmas festivities cut into my attempts to gather all 5 for my Nana tradition. This seemed the best bet. Plus, a good meal was had, so some sugar was counter-balanced with turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.
Before and after shots of grands and houses.
Tips for Your Gingerbread House Decorating:
*Gingerbread kits can be found in all variety of sizes, configurations, and number of homes included. Coupons and sales abound in a variety of stores. I found one set with 5 homes. Done. 5 grands equals 5 homes. Though I think some parents wanted to participate. Maybe next year I will need 2 sets.
*Hot glue houses together. This saves tons of time and keeps the houses steady for little hands. And who really eats gingerbread houses anyway?
*Cover cardboard with foil and tape to secure. Hot glue houses to foil. These bases provide plenty of room for landscaping and home decor.
*Purchase cake decorating pieces like our Christmas lights and snowmen. The grands loved adding them to their houses.
*Use tub frosting. The royal icing is soooo stiff, only the oldest 3 could manage to add it to their houses with the tube included in the kit. Soft frosting is just fine for adhering candy.
*Give each child his/her own plate with treats, decorations, a plastic knife, and a glob of icing. If they lick the knife (safe to lick, plastic!), it’s their own germs they eat.
*Limit sugar consumption by making sure home decorators have first eaten a meal. Divvy up candy between all involved decorators, thereby spreading the (sugar) wealth.
*Take lots of photos! Who knows what will happen once the houses go to their respective homes!
*Have fun! Messes are expected, so don’t worry about the small stuff. Everything washes off with a wash cloth.
Merry Christmas and Happy Traditions to You! Happy Gingerbread House Decorating!