One of our family favorite activities in December is to decorate gingerbread houses. But we have so many supplies and it’s way more fun with friends, so this year we invited some friends to enjoy it with us.
I hosted my first cookie swap for the adults! It was a lot of fun and I would love to make this an annual thing if we can quit moving for a few years. 🙂 Really, I called it a Cocoa and Cookies party! ❤
Our elf, Twinkle, joined us, of course! Snowflake was also here, but hiding somewhere else.
First I decided to decorate everything in the pink, blue, green, and red that I had for this year and in gingerbread sweets theme. I used most of what I already had made for the North Pole Breakfast. I had already taken it all down and cleaned, but decided to decorate almost the same way because I thought it was so cute here.
So, when everyone walked in, there is the craft table and the faux fireplace. I tried my hand at making some pom pom snowballs to hang from the ceiling with fishing string…and precariously balanced myself on a stack of exercise steppers on a chair because we won’t have a ladder until Christmas presents are opened. 😀 hahaha
I set up the little pole and some snow at the doorway…
Redecorated the “mantle” from the Grinch theme to gingerbreads. ❤
Set up some crafts at the table for any littler ones coming over…
these printables are from another site and I will share the link at the bottom.
I opened the boxes of houses and had them ready to go the day before. I asked ahead of time if anyone would be eating their house and everyone was ok if I used the hot glue gun (it’s a miracle worker – it can fix anything! lol). If you choose to use the icing, you should also set them up ahead of time. I think the box says to let the icing glue dry for 24 hours before adding decorations or icing to the outside of your gingerbread house.
I bought 3 boxes, 2 of them different so that there would be different choices for the children. I saw someone post online a nativity gingerbread set that they got from Walmart, but I checked 3 local ones and they didn’t carry it. Still hoping to find that one.
My daughter’s cute, gingerbread apron for the holidays. I asked the girls to bring their aprons and it was such a cute picture with them. 🙂
So this past month I have been looking up and adding a scripture for the activities from our elves. I looooove that my son actually reads the cards and we talk about it. I would think he would just skip over it or jump right into whatever activity brought, but he has shown real interest and listens when I explain it. Slowly sinking in! ❤
Snowflake was high up on a bookcase because my daughter was concerned a toddler may get her. I added this little gingerbread play scene for her to do while we waited on guests while I finished up last minute prep.
This is one of the printables that will be in a second link. I find almost all of my printables on Pinterest or I make them. These were water bottle labels, but I also printed 15 more for the cocoa cups.
The felt garland I made for the North Pole Breakfast. It’s just so cute! I took it down because I have so many themes in December, but I think I will leave it up the rest of the month and try to tie it into everything.
Our ginormous tree this year. They get bigger every year it seems. Picking out the right size tree is just not my forte. I look at them and think they look so small on the tree farms with all the other trees. I get them home and they fall over at least once a year while decorating. By the way, did you know you should set it up in the stand and leave it over night before decorating it? Well, I didn’t. And I’m too impatient to decorate for that! I paid for it this year with some broken ornaments. 😦
Some families collect cute villages (which are a lot smaller, btw, so they take up less counter space and storage space). Since I was 16, my mom started gifting me with gingerbread Christmas decorations and I fell in love with them and have added to it over the years. Hobby Lobby had “sweets” and gingerbread Christmas decor in pastels for a couple of years and I was in gingerbread heaven, but they don’t carry them anymore.
Our cocoa station! 🙂
I found this placemat at Hobby Lobby and thought it would be cute to use over and over for a cocoa bar, no matter the theme of the party. Even though it has peppermint stripes on it and candy canes on the matching banner, I am really tempted to start using it in the fall when we all start having bonfires, s’mores, hot cocoa, hay rides…
And now for the fun part! The cookies to taste. Everyone made enough to put 6 in a bag or box and some for tasting. Then we used a printable to make our choices and I had “medals” for the winners.
Aren’t these cocoa mug cupcakes soo cute for a Cocoa and Cookie Party? ❤ them!
I made some sweet snacks for everyone to munch on. There are turtles, chocolate drizzled pretzel squares, peppermint bark, and dark chocolate brownies.
We played some games (that were for the adults, but the older children also wanted to play) and everyone really enjoyed them. We played Jingle in the Trunk, Pass the Parcel, and the paper plate Christmas game of drawing a picture on a plate on your head.
All “suited up” ready to decorate gingerbread houses!
Here are the free printables :
And don’t forget you can follow me over on Pinterest for all of this and more!