It’s December 1st! You know what that means around here! It’s our annual North Pole Breakfast with our lovable elf and a new elf friend! Twinkle is back and we welcomed Snowflake into our family. 🙂 My daughter asked for her own elf on her list to Santa last year, so she had high hopes, lol.
This years’ theme for our North Pole Breakfast is Gingerbread Candyland!! I am in love with it…I have loved this theme since my teens and when I started collecting Christmas decor, this was first on the list. My Mom has been a big help in starting my collection for me (and even keeping it growing). 😉
Here is the view the children now have when walking into our dining room:
I don’t know about you, but this makes me feel like a kid again!
I like to come up with a theme every year for our North Pole Breakfast (well, ok, since after year 1 and it became annual). This year, I really wanted it to be extra special because my little ones aren’t so little any more and I’m not sure if they will be into this next year. I may just have to do this all for myself, lol. Maybe invite neighborhood children, haha.
Anyway, so I decided to go with a gingerbread candyland theme because 1) I’ve been collecting for a while now because I just think that stuff is sooo cute! 2) this theme really makes me have warm, fuzzy holiday feelings full of cheer and bubbling with kid-like awe and wonder. I just thought, this would make a great memory!
So, I started with one of my very fave decorations and looked for some online printable gingerbread boy and girl stuff that looked matchy and cutesy to get my craft on! Here is what I found that I absolutely loved:
Aren’t they just THE cutest gingerbread creations?! Here is where you can find them, too:
I found this tablecloth at Walmart! I know it’s not perfectly gingerbread and all things sweets, but it was the closest, not to mention it was only $4 and I can use if for other themes since it’s not specifically candy themed!
Now, for my “north pole,” I use an empty tube from wrapping paper! I painted the whole thing white, then went back over it with some red stripes. The ball on top is a clear ornament that I hot glued on and painted red. It is “standing” with the help of my paper towel stand and I just added the faux snow for aesthetics…it IS the “North Pole.”
The candy canes were also easy, but it did take a lot more time to create. I made 4 of them. I looked online and found these. Materials were listed, but not the “how to.” I used a pool noodle – perfect since summer is over and I hadn’t packed them yet! Mine were already pastel candy shades, even better! I painted the stripes on with acrylic paint. Straighten a wire hanger ( I had NONE and had to get some from a friend since we only have plastic ones), or in my case 4, and put them up the hole in the pool noodle. Bend to your candy cane shape desired and I used a rubber ring from a game of my children’s to hold it in place for a week to make sure the hook stayed in place. Then I added some faux snow on top and beads to (hopefully) look like sprinkles to go with the candyland Christmas look.
I painted some foam craft balls while I had the paint out…I wrapped them up in cellophane once they were dried and tied them off with curling ribbon.
For my banner on the table, I used the background from the above link and just cut them to fit right over a store bought banner, which I just attached with tape (not glue) so that I can use my original banner again. The sparkly gingerbread guys are from Dollar Tree…a whole package of them!
I started with putting the pink tablecloth on my table and tried draping it over double so it would have some ruffles. Then, tape on the banner. Add any other colors of tablecloths you want…I wanted to do a red, green, pink, white theme. To me, it just looks so candyland Christmas-y!
I folded the candy/Christmas themed tablecloth in thirds and laid it across the length of my table, like a table runner. Now we decorate!
I printed the “North Pole Breakfast” last year and saved that part, with the short pole. I used the background from this years’ choice printable from the link listed earlier. For the short pole, I did the same technique as the tall one, but used a paper towel tube.
The printable here can be found: http://www.howdoesshe.com/christmas-printables/
One of my favorite sites! 🙂
There are a couple of things I always include in our North Pole Breakfast:
- A letter from our elf, Twinkle. I just personalize one for us that’s fitting for the year and remind him about Jesus. I added stickers this year to match our theme!
This year, we welcomed our newest elf, Snowflake! My daughter asked for him last year for Christmas, so I knew I really needed to make that happen this year. When they came out with pink ones online, I had to have her! She didn’t question the elf not in red; she was actually pleased Snowflake came in pink clothing because it’s Snowflake’s favorite color, apparently. 😉
2. They always get an ornament. Sometimes, I try to match our theme and sometimes, I just find something cute that I want them to have. This year, it was both, but I only gave them one set at breakfast. The other set will be given to them on another themed day we do…stay tuned!
And a family one for the gingerbread candyland tree (because they get to take ALL their personalized and gifted ornaments with them when they move out. They will have a full collection!).
Gosh, isn’t it SO cute!! So glad I get to keep this on the tree that I will have when my (someday, yet-to-be) own grandbabies come visit!
3. Advent calendar: I know families have hundreds of ways of incorporating an advent during December. Do what works for your family! For ours, there is of course a candy (usually a chocolate kind to match the theme for the day), and we have a printed scripture in each box leading up to the birth of Jesus. I will make a post about that in the near future. Additionally, if I’m aware of something nice ahead of time that we’re going to do that day, say…bake cookies for the neighbor…take our art work we collect from homeschooling all year to the nursing home…etc (basically, random acts of kindness), then I use the Elf printable on the Elf Random Acts of Kindness page on my blog and I just add those in before we do our advent (which we do in the mornings because we open a book at night or have a movie night).
The last 2 years, I have done name place cards for them, too! I know…I only have 2 little ones, so why would we need them?? They’re just cute! So, why not?
I used the same template on the link I posted earlier.
I made the easels to hold them out of paper straws! Cut them down to size and hot glue them to make a teepee shape. I used a red marble that I had from keeping extra game pieces…sometimes being borderline hoarder comes in handy! haha. Then, I glued the scrapbook paper and printed place cards on the easel.
Now on to some of the yummies…
On their plates (which I got on clearance at Target last Christmas), I made some gingerbread shaped pancakes…the easy way…? Make regular sized pancakes and then use a mini cookie cutter to cut the shapes. I know you can buy individual pancake shaped forms, but you have to cook those one at a time. Would take too long and I don’t have that time! lol
The fruit is obviously strawberries and bananas sliced and I slid them onto a wire (I used floral wire that I cleaned) and then I removed those before the children ate! 🙂 The gingerbread boy and girl are oreos covered in light cocoa candy melts and decorated with white and black. I didn’t have bows, so I used the sprinkles dots I had to improvise bows. They turned out cute for my first time!
I made yogurt parfaits using Key Lime and Strawberry yogurt. I liked the colors and thought the flavors would compliment each other. I started with a crushed oreo base and just alternated flavors (using a sandwich bag!). The mini spoons fit right in there perfectly and they were just too cute not to include. 😀
For the tops of the parfait glasses and the tops of their milk jars, I used the melted white candy melt chocolate and dipped the rim in the chocolate, then rolled the rim in sprinkle dots.
For the food centerpieces, I made a “cake stand” that I thought originally I would use for the cake pops and the muffins, but I changed my mind and decided to add one of my gingerbread houses on the top tier…and then changed my mind again (Hey, women do that! haha) and wanted my gingerbread cookie jar in there because he’s one of my absolute favorite decorations. He looks so sweet!
These are both of my children’s favorite muffins…and it’s HARD finding any food that both of my children will eat. These cinnamon streusel muffins are pretty good! Considering they are a boxed mix! Yes…I don’t do “crunchy” here…you wonder how I have time to decorate and make my own crafts and home school (and then there’s life, of course)…it’s by not making every single food from scratch. Sure, I do when I have the time or have a special recipe (or a new one to try), but I am just fine doing what works for our family (and saving my sanity in the meantime!).
What I did do with my crafting time, is paint the flat toothpicks in the color scheme I’m using. I used flat wooden toothpicks and acrylic paint (not all the way down, just enough to stick in the muffin).
The adorable Elf mugs are in multiple stores right now. I think they’re a keeper!! Now, I don’t have to look for a new one every year to match the theme (like I was doing, teeheehee).
I also painted these faux lollipops using my acrylic paint and some round foam circles from Dollar Tree. I also got 1 long dowel and cut it into 4ths so I could use it twice here and again in another craft! I wrapped the milk jars, parfait glasses, the decorative jars with a paper ribbon that was on clearance just a month ago. For .50. Score!
These are just dark chocolate wafers that I drizzled the extra white chocolate candy melts onto and then used the dots sprinkles.
These yummy creations are also easier than you think (and yes, again store bought-ish). I saw a recipe online and thought I had to try to do it because my children love, love, love cinnamon anything. These are the pillsbury store bought refrigerated cinnamon rolls!! Not the jumbo…just regular sized. Cut them into fourths, spray a cake pop pan with an oil, and “bake” for 3 and a half minutes. Any longer and they are just too crunchy. I found out for you. You’re welcome. 😉
There you have the main table!
Next, the side table (since my table is on the small side for our NPB)…
This is the advent calendar I made last year and I love it so much! It even matches our theme a bit because I made sure to incorporate the gingerbread candyland that I collect. Added the Elf on the Shelf book and some goodies…voila!
Did you get to notice the bookcase I placed in the background with just a few gingerbread decorations? I thought since it all went together, it would be a cute additional touch to add.
Don’t mind my bible set…have to keep it in reach! Have you heard of or use the Child’s Training Bible and Child’s Virtue Bible?? I LOVE them! I can’t say enough positive things about how much this has helped us at home (not just with spiritual learning for the children, but ahem…discipline, too). I’ll have to post about that later. 🙂
Now…on to the side wall…where we now have a “house” for Twinkle and Snowflake!!
Of course, it has to match the theme. 😉
And with felt, I made them some outfits so they could be honorary gingerbread elves for the day!! ❤
I wanted it to be more “real” elf sized than our previous elf door, which was the doll house door from Michaels.
I used a foam board and drew my photo I wanted to use, painted over it with the acrylic paint, and as you see, taped and tacked it up on the wall. I think the children and the elves like it!
Well, I hope you liked my post and ideas for a Gingerbread Candyland North Pole Breakfast! This has been my favorite one so far (of course, this is only year 4). Can’t wait to share Twinkle and Snowflake’s ideas with you all month long! I have some new ones I haven’t seen online (yet…*crossing fingers*).
Twinkle and Snowflake