Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Gingerbread Party 2018... A Sweet Afternoon

 Happy Tuesday friends!!! I had every intention of sharing a post yesterday, but the weekend wiped me out and I chose my bed over blogging on Sunday night! But the weekend wiped me out in all the best ways! We took our annual trip across the border to see the lights in Niagara Falls on Saturday and on Sunday we hosted our annual Gingerbread party. 
I get lots of questions from friends, on the blog and on social media aobut this party, so this post is a recap and a "how to" all in one😉 I will warn you it is also a lot of pictures!
As for how this party started, we first hosted this party 7 years ago. I love Christmas and thought it would be fun to have an afternoon with Moms and their girls during the holidays. Our first party we had 6 girls. 
And this year we hosted 11 girls. 
Each year we partner with a local organization to find a family in need for the holidays. We send out the family wishlist to the girls that are coming and they help us make the holidays a bit brighter for a special family. So not only a fun afternoon, but the reason for the party is to help a family that needs a little hope around Christmas. 
For the houses, I buy the mini village kits. They come with 4 little houses, and each girl gets two houses to decorate. I always pick them up during Thanksgiving weekend at one of the craft stores, they are usually on super sale then! I build all the houses a few days before to give them time to set. I did not do this the first year and we had a few houses that collapsed!
The past few years we have made peppermint paths for each girl. They are super cute and easy to make. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and line up 3 of the mint candies to form a path. You can make it straight or kind of curve it. Just make sure the 3 candies are touching. Bake at 350 for about 5-6 minutes and let cool. 
The house kits come with lots of candy. I buy a few more things & green m&ms, pretzel sticks, licorice, mini marshmallows, candy canes and cotton candy are a few of our favorites.  
Lots of candy! I grab some small containers at Party City. They usually have some fun holiday designs and you can get a pack of 24 cups for around $4.
A good time to look for candy is after Halloween... you can get a great deal on candy! This year I got a bunch of Smarties for 90% off!
Each girl gets two houses, a gingerbread cookie and a bag of icing. Most craft stores carry large cake boards, sold in a pack of 6. I add a paper placemat (from Party City) and a name tag.  The girls attach the houses to their board and it makes it an easy way to carry home their designs.
The gingerbread kits come with two piping bags and two tips. I just fill them with store bought icing and tie with red ribbon. 
The view from above....
I use a cheap plastic table cloth over the table then put down a fun wrapping paper down the center. It looks cute and then you can just fold it all up and toss it when the party is done. Easy Clean up!
The cardboard gingerbread house is an old Target find. Another cute centerpiece option is to decorate a big gingerbread house and have it there for inspiration.
I got the Santa hat chair covers at the Dollar Tree and they have lasted a few years. I have seen them there this year.. an inexpensive way to decorate (and protect) the chairs!
A few more pics of our set up....

The little gift bags are take home gifts for the girls. Ella is my Black Friday shopper, so the past few years she grabs the $1 fuzzy socks at Old Navy and they are the perfect little take home gift!
The hostess...
The girls filled up their hot cocoa cups and got busy decorating.
Gosh I love this tradition, these girls and their mamas!
This year the girls were able to do most of the decorating on their own. Other than a few frosting bag blow-outs, they were self sufficient! It was a nice time to watch them do their thing!
There were some pretty fab creations!
While the girls decorated, we enjoyed a fun holiday cocktail...
And some snacks! I always make the Veggie Christmas Tree. I feel like it's my duty to provide something to balance out all the candy! Because obviously it does not all make it onto the houses😉
I found the  cutest idea for this "wreath"... it looked festive and the girls loved these!
I also made these  Cranberry Pecan Pinwheels from Mix & Match Mama. I forgot to take a pic. They are yummy holiday appetizer!
Cranberry Pecan Pinwheels
Every year I do a Hot Cocoa Bar. It looks cute and serves a purpose, so why not? 
I get so many questions on my cocoa dispenser. I have had it forever and can never find a similar one. I am on the lookout and will share if I find one! 
You can find some cute cocoa bar printables  here
I use this  galvanized stand all year long! It's perfect for parties. You can grab it  here
I also made some of my Mom's Snow Covered Brownie Fingers. They are so good and the recipe makes a lot- great for a cookie exchange. I'll share the recipe soon!
After decorating we took the annual picture in front of the tree. 
And then played a few games. Ella searched up some Christmas "Minute to Win It" games. This was her favorite. Each team had two rolls of TP, tape and some snowman accessories. They had a minute to "build" the best snowman. 
One team had more success than the other! 
The girls headed home and we got to cleaning up!!! 
Another fun party and another year of being able to help a family that needs a little hope this Christmas. I encourage you to find a way to give back this season, no matter a grand gesture or a simple one.  It will make your holiday shine even brighter😉
See you soon friends. There is always room for one more at our family table.


  1. This looks like so much fun, and I love how you have kept the tradition going year after year. What a great group of girls.

  2. What an awesome party. Think of the memories they are going to have

  3. This looks like the best party ever! Creating wonderful memories to last a lifetime :)