In my mind my role as lead memory and tradition maker for my children is one of my most important mom roles and I take it very seriously. My husband may tell you that I do these Gingerbread parties and decorations because I cannot sit idle in my spare time. Two years ago we hosted a Gingerbread House Decorating party for our children and some of their friends. Unfortunately, the timing of the party was not ideal due to a family emergency, a planned family vacation, and other regularly schedule Christmas events and activities. After the party my husband gently told me that this Christmas was hands down the most stressful holiday season ever and that there would be no more gingerbread parties until further notice. I was essentially put on party probation.
Fast forward almost 2 years to October 2011 with a few stress free birthday parties under my belt, I asked my husband if we could consider a gingerbread party again this year. Much to my surprise, he agreed and I quickly sprang into action to create the Almost Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party for my family and our neighborhood children.
Theme – Gingerbread House Decorating Party
Decorations – White paper tablecloths, red and white polka dot runners, lime green placemats, red plates doubled as a platform for the gingerbread houses to be built upon but also provided a pop of color for the table. Candies for decorating the houses are so bright and colorful that I didn’t really need any additional decorations for the party. I simply gathered as many clear vases, dessert compote bowls, and other small bowls to fill with candy. Candy labels were created out of gingerbread men shaped diecuts. Each bowl had a gingerbread man with a sign to indicate the decoration.
Food and Beverage – The party was scheduled from 3pm – 5:30pm so snacks were appropriate. The children were so busy decorating that they didn’t really eat snacks but the parents enjoyed some of the nibbles available. To make this easy on myself, I graciously accepted all offers by parents to bring something for the party. Parents of the children supplied fabulous appetizers for the party. I provided the hot cranberry spiced cider, beer, wine, apple juice and milk as well as all of the supplies for the party.
Activity – The focus of this party was the gingerbread house decorating. This activity kept the kids engaged for about 45-90 minutes. Some of the younger children spent 45 minutes on their houses while the older 10-year-old age range worked on their houses for well over an hour. 1 hour into the party the doorbell rang. Who could it be? Imagine the children’s surprise when they opened the door to Santa and his elf! In the Seattle area the Starlight Children’s Foundation offers Santa for your party with your donation to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. All of the Santas are volunteers who spend the month of December acting as Santa for parties and events. Santa took a seat by the fire and read Twas the Night Before Christmas to all of the children. After the story he passed out the party favors and posed for pictures with each of the children. The addition of Santa to this party made it extra special for the children as well as the entire family.