Mama’s Guide To Making Gingerbread Houses

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for me…trying to glue together two pieces of cardboard-gingerbread using nothing but frosting, my mitts, and my last nerve.

While a sweet little gingerbread house can illicit “oooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” from even the most frigid Grinch at Christmas, it can be a bit of a hassle. So, here are some tips and strategies for making it slightly less painful than a poke in the eye with a sucked-on candy cane shiv.

Step One: Cheers!

Pour yourself a tall glass of wine…errr…egg nog and settle in for a long winter’s task.

Step Two: Purchase

Buy a gingerbread house kit from the grocery store, unless you are auditioning for Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship, in which case you may opt for baking your own gingerbread house. Here is a link if you do decide to make your own:

Tip: Some kits come with the house completely assembled and some don’t. So, depending on how much time you have between buying gifts, wrapping gifts, baking, sending Christmas cards, watching The Holiday and Elf on repeat, visiting Santa, visiting Santa again, and attending each and every holiday parade, party and letter opening possible, you may want to opt for the easier kit.

Step Three: Read the Instructions.

The kits that require assembly have to be glued with frosting and sit overnight before they can be decorated.

Tip: If you’re not actually going to eat it (who does?) consider using a HOT GLUE GUN to assemble the walls and roof. That way you can start decorating that night.

Step Four: Assemble

Assemble the gingerbread house per the instructions. Don’t get crazy.

Step Five: Decorate!

One year my husband’s family had a gingerbread house decorating contest. We could use any edible item to decorate and were scored on creativity and aesthetic quality. Except, my team lost because we didn’t include a beer bribe for the judge.

Tip: Let your kiddos pick candy from their favorite candy store to decorate; a little for the house and a little for the tummy! Or, have a decorating party and invite friends and family to bond through mutual frustration.

Step Six: Display and Document

Display your gingerbread house. Take a picture and post it in a comment here or on Austin Moms Blog on Facebook! Then watch as your meticulously placed gumdrops slowly slide off the roof and walls until it resembles a sad Salvador Dali.

But, you will always have the memory of your precious little ones placing each candy just so, giggling and stealing a bite or two, and creating a tradition that will last for generations; connecting past to present and future Christmases to come.


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