This is what Christmas dreams a made of, making Christmas magical for the littles to enjoy. Growing up as an only child my mom made sure to make every holiday special and I can remember always celebrating around my best friends. This year I wanted to start a new tradition with some of my daughter’s besties, and although she’s only two, she has quite the girl gang!
Due to the ongoing pandemic, my daughter and I hosted our first annual gingerbread house decorating party, by only inviting six guests. I knew hosting this event would not only kick off our Christmas activities, but this would also mark a special memory for both myself, my mom, and my daughter.
In true southern tradition, invitations were sent, inviting the girls over for a decorating party in their Christmas jammies. I think the mommies were more excited about this than the girls, I know I was.
In planning for an event with toddlers here are a few suggestions.
· Host your party early in the day.
Our party started at 10 a.m. and ran until the girls were ready to leave, the girls truly enjoyed the fellowship of each other.
· Have a designated play area available until all guests arrive.
The girls were ready to decorate as soon as they entered our home, so we had a designated playroom for them to entertain themselves until all guests arrived.
· Prepare breakfast while the girls are decorating
When the girls were ready to eat real food, breakfast was already prepared, there were grits, fruit, yogurt, sausage, bacon, and of course my infamous breakfast cheese square casserole.
· Have your guests bring a dish or mimosas
One of my line sisters brought the best drinks, MIMOSAS, we shared in a variety of orange, strawberry, and blueberry mimosas.
· Purchase your gingerbread houses early in the season
I purchased our gingerbread homes from Target early in November, I knew these would sell out as time got closer, I purchased the Holiday Pre-Built Gingerbread House Kit 29.8 oz by Wondershop. The kit comes with everything you need to create your gingerbread house, so no need to purchase extra candy. It’s filled with gumballs, peppermint, sprinkles, gumdrops, and royal icing.
· Set your table.
My tablescape consisted of all things pink and gingerbread display houses. A light pink tablecloth draped the six-foot table and I added a few die-cut gingerbread placemats from Hester&Cook. The placemats added a whimsical look to this festive tablescape.
· Allow the girls the opportunity to decorate their own gingerbread house.
As much as I wanted to pull back on the royal icing, I had to let loose and allow my daughter to have as much fun as she wanted. She enjoyed creating a beautiful masterpiece.
· Add personalized aprons
I was able to order a few mini aprons from Amazon and I found the cutest gingerbread felt stickers from JoAnn’s that we added on the night before. Each mini guest wore an apron and they were able to take it home after the party was over.
· Gingerbread party favors
In keeping with the gingerbread theme, I ordered a few extra Gingerbread velvet ornaments. They looked exactly like gingerbread cookies, and they were such amazing favors for the girls.
· Keep the gingerbread boxes
It’s important to keep the boxes the gingerbread houses came in, it makes the transition from house to house easier on mommy, besides we have enough skittles on our floorboard already! *Tip for next year, we’ll grab a few Christmas bags to put package everything together, gingerbread house, party favors, and of course breakfast leftover snacks.
· Take lots of photos
We had a photographer, Malik (Leek Editzz) to come over to take a couple of pictures before we got started, and the girls loved their mini shoot.
· Have festive décor
I can truly say that I planned this party out years ago, I purchased the placements during a winter sale, and the pink satin table cloth during a warehouse yard sale. Hobby Lobby had a few dolomite gingerbread houses that I used on mini cake stands to give the table a little height and I used a larger Gingerbread house in the middle as an example for our decorating party. I also added in a few decorations from around the house, a few Christmas trees and nutcrackers lined the center of the table. Or you can simply use whatever items you already have in your home. You really only need the GINGERBREAD HOUSES. The girls will have so much fun that they won’t even notice.
I’ve always wanted a daughter and these are the moments that I’ve prayed and waited for. If you know this is something you’d like to host for your girls, go for it, it’s really about making memories. I had a few friends reach out and they are already planning to be a part of next year’s Gingerbread Decorating House Party.