The holidays take on a whole new meaning with kids! For me, they’ve actually gotten a whole lot better; I love that there’s a little bit of magic back in the season from seeing Jane get excited about the lights and decorations, and most importantly, the cookies! Now that she’s starting to understand the specialness of the holiday season a little bit more, I’m eager to start some new holiday traditions that she’ll remember.
One of them is an idea I am borrowing from my mother-in-law. My husband’s family is gigantic; it seems like every year the Christmas dinner gets bigger and bigger and bigger. Last year, my mother-in-law had the great idea to set up a table in the living room with a big gingerbread house kit, along with tons of candy and treats for everyone to work together and decorate it. It kept the kids (and adults!) busy while dinner was being made. It ended up being such a hit, and the whole family got involved in a friendly competition.
Jane was too little to participate at the time, but this year I think she’d be able to join in on the fun, so I decided to set up a little gingerbread house decorating station on her play table to try it out! To start, I pre-assembled the gingerbread house and I’ll let you in on a little secret: I hot-glue-gunned the cookie pieces together, and then attached it to a Chinet® Classic White™ appetizer and dessert plate. I went back over the edges with some icing, but the glue was my guarantee that little toddler hands wouldn’t break the houses, helping me avoid craft-time meltdowns! I’ve never thought the gingerbread house pieces tasted particularly good—it was the candy I was after—so I don’t think anyone will be too sad they can’t eat the actual house.
After I pre-assembled the houses, I sorted out lots of classic candy pieces into Chinet Classic White compartment trays. I love these trays for projects like this! It makes it really easy to see all of the candy selection and pick out the pieces you want for the house. They’re so useful, and I’ve used them for lots of other projects and party ideas before—plus, my visual-nerd side loves seeing all of the candy displayed beautifully. For some of the bigger candy pieces I used Chinet® Cut Crystal® 9 oz. cups (I like using clear disposable tableware so you can see what was inside).
I added some Chinet Cut Crystal cutlery to each place setting so that it would be easy to scoop candy and spread icing. For a festive little touch, I added some red and green ribbon bows to the end of the forks and spoons! And I finished off the table with a few decorations and bowls of icing so that everyone could get decorating. I think it’s such a fun idea for kids, and if last year was any indication, the adults will love it, too!
For more holiday entertaining ideas, check out my recipes for Cranberry Ginger Punch and Cranberry Baked Brie, or my video on how to set a beautifully simple holiday tablescape. And don’t forget to share your holiday traditions with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #MyChinetParty.