How to Host a Gingerbread House Decorating Party

December is a time for traditions, from new and festive pajamas on Christmas Eve to cutting down your own Christmas tree fresh from the farm. Looking for an easy way to start a holiday tradition with friends and family? Then consider throwing a Gingerbread House Decorating Party. It’s fun, simple to prepare, and a delicious way to celebrate the Christmas season with those that matter most. Not sure where to start? Here are easy, straightforward ways to host a Gingerbread House Decorating Party.

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Condense Your Guest List

First off, realize that a gingerbread house can be fragile, so to minimize accidents that will lead to inevitable tears, keep your guest list to a minimum. My rule of thumb is four gingerbread houses per 8 foot long table.

Serve Up Some Holiday Spirit

One of the best things about a Gingerbread House Decorating Party is that guests will snack on candy while putting together their creations, so you don’t have to supply much else. But to keep the mood festive, try serving a Twig ‘n Berry cocktail for adults and a non-alcoholic version for the kiddos. My kids love “The Grinch”–Sprite with a dash of green food coloring with a candy cane garnish!

You can also provide some non-candy options for snacks (the healthier the better to combat all that sugar) such as a large charcuterie board or simple bruschetta recipes that look like you slaved in the kitchen all day when in reality you prepared for 20 minutes and then watched Hallmark Christmas movies all day long.

Clearly State the BYOH

Nowadays you can find tons of gingerbread house kits, whether you are looking for pre-built options or you wan to construct your gingerbread house yourself. I would recommend the pre-built options at Target and Costco (well made, sturdy, and just darn adorable) to your guests, or the DIY kit that World Market sells. And while most kits come with icing an other decorations, as the host you should provide the gingerbread house decorating details.

Get Creative With Your Toppings

The great thing about decorating a gingerbread house is that there is no wrong way to do it and anything goes. While you can spring for cute and unique gourmet options, you can also raid your pantry to see what you can find (it’s for decorating, not eating, after all!). So grab a large platter or tray, some small bowls or containers, and fill it with fun finds from your pantry or the grocery store. Some suggestions:

  • cereal
  • licorice
  • chocolate chips
  • skittles
  • hard candies
  • pretzel rods
  • shredded coconut
  • jelly beans
  • gum drops
  • dried fruit
  • marshmallows

And of course…lots and lots of icing! The perfect icing recipe? Check this one out. The key? Stiff peaks! After mixing, divide the icing into bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl, stir, and then scoop into clear, gallon sized plastic bags. Twist the bag so that all of the icing is by one of the bottom corners of the plastic bag. Snip off the corner of the bag with scissors (the smaller the hole the less amount of icing comes out) to make a piping bag.

Encourage Some Friendly Competition

To add a little competitive fun, choose unique winning categories for the Gingerbread House Decorating Party. Instead of a boring title like “Best,” think about categories such as “Most Creative,” “Highest Amount of Calories,” “Most Likely to Be Featured on the Food Network,” “Looks Like Something Buddy the Elf Would Eat”…and so on. Award prizes such as a Christmas ornament, box of gourmet chocolates, a family board game…or even just a small holiday themed trinket.

For more holiday fun, check out our Holiday Bucket List, including How to Host a Holiday Ice Cream Bar.

Happy Decorating!
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  1. GiGi Eats says

    HA! GREAT TO KNOW! My husband and I were just talking about this because we are hosting a holiday party next month and I was like – WE SHOULD DO A GINGER BREAD HOUSE MAKING contest! haha!

  2. Alli Smith says

    When my kids were growing up we always decorated gingerbread houses during the Christmas season. These days, I’m doing it with my grandkids so this came at just the right time.

  3. Jeanette says

    This is definitely something I like to do at Christmas. My son begs to do it every year and every year I do it. Why not you only live once and I want my kid to remember a lot of things about Christmas happily.

  4. Amber Myers says

    This would be such a great party! I’d certainly go to one. I wouldn’t host one only because I’m an introvert and prefer other not to be in my home. But I’d do this with my kids, for sure. We have issues getting our gingerbread house to stay up though. It likes to collapse in on us.

  5. Tomi C says

    This sounds like so much fun. We decorate our gingerbread house at my cousin’s house. It was something her mom and grandma started and a tradition she’s kept alive for decades now. Sharing these tips with her.

  6. roch says

    Wow! I think it’s pretty convenient to just grab and buy a diy kit from World Market rather than purchase all the good things individually on your own.

    • Amanda says

      Don’t forget to check your pantry for gingerbread house toppings–you will find some great things in there without having to make an extra trip to the store!

    • Amanda says

      You aren’t going to believe me, but it was so fun. That’s why having a Gingerbread House Party is my favorite way to entertain over the holidays!

  7. Ashley Grant says

    For some reason, this just brought me back to when I was in high school and would host Christmas parties for my sister’s girl scout troops. Oh this post is giving me all the feels. I want to make a gingerbread house of my own STAT!

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