Do you build and decorate gingerbread houses at your house? I'm guessing most of you do as I see the results on Instagram and Facebook. How about adding a twist. Have a competition between families or cousins for a little festive holiday fun!
I actually started doing this before I had grandkids. I invited my co-workers over for some Christmas fun and asked them to bring their kids. I told them we would be having a gingerbread house decorating competition, and they came prepared. There's something about adding the element of a rivalry to bring out everyone's competitive traits and spark their imagination.
Continuing the fun with my own kids!
I couldn't wait till I had grandkids so I could continue the competition. I only have three grandkids in town, so at first the decorating was within our own family. I got two gingerbread house kits, and it was the boys against the girls. That way there were adults to assist the younger kids, and let's face it--the boys against the girls is always fun!
We are fortunate in that my grands do have cousins in town as well, so about three years ago, we started challenging their cousins--my daughter-in-law's sister's family against our family. I have to say that has been a blast! We choose some night before Christmas and really make a grand ol' party of it--wearing our best Christmas socks, eating pizza, and playing games. All that besides decorating the houses. I provide the candy house kits to each family, but they can bring any embellishments they want. Prizes are given for creativity, good sportsmanship. . . things like that.
And the traditions continues. . .
This year there is simply no time before Christmas to have a competition. But that's not stopping us. I think we'll simply ring in the New Year with our cousin party and house decorating. But the gingerbread house will have to have a "New Year" theme. I've been thinking that the invitation I send to all the kids will perhaps have a "Mission Impossible" motif with a list of the theme and components we will be judging. I actually got this idea from the very first competition I mentioned above with my co-workers. One of the families created the UT Tower (University of Texas). I've never forgotten that--so fun!
If you've never decorated gingerbread houses with your grands, you simply must try it this year! The kits are incredibly cheap and you can even find them at your local discount pharmacies and grocery stores. And you don't have to have a competition--just get the family together and everyone creates. As always, there are tons of ideas online....particularly Pinterest. Just do a search. I've even seen one idea for a party wherein every participant gets a stack of graham crackers and their own plate. Bowls of candy (and other embellishments) are placed in the middle of the table along with tubs of icing available to everyone. Then the family can create a little gingerbread village. The ideas are endless.
Have fun! And as I always say, please share your ideas and pictures! We'd all love to see!
Two fun websites:
And because I love all things New Mexican, here's another:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!