Decorating Our Gingerbread Houses

Since the girls were spending Christmas this year with the mother in Texas, it meant that we had to try to really fill in the first three weeks of December with Christmas activities (not to mention doing the same thing when they return). Even before we got out the tree, ornaments, and decorations, the girls wanted to build gingerbread houses together. So let us see if my girls have what it takes to be successful tiny home architects (with rather unconventional building materials).

And they surprisingly did not eat all those materials

They stocked the Christmas section pretty early this year at the commissary and the girls had been asking me to make gingerbread houses since at least October. We had never made them together, but the girls were really excited at the prospect.

At least they did not choose the Elf on the Shelf gingerbread house kit

They settled on the Trolls World Tour kits and I picked them up while the girls were in Texas for Thanksgiving. For some reason, they were a little disappointed that I did not have them pre-assembled when they returned.

Yep. Ten seconds in and there was already a crisis that Dad had to avert.

The only issue of the night occurred as soon as Elaina opened the box. One of the pieces of the house was broken and she was not happy about it. After calming her down, I opened up the icing and proceeded to repair the side of the house. After that, Elaina calmed down and we went back to building (Note: This technique actually came in very handy about two weeks later. Elaina had to decorate a premade shortbread cookie for school and right before school she noticed that the arm had broken off. I quickly made some Royal Icing and conducted emergency frosting surgery on him. By the time Elaina brought the cookie out to decorate at school, the icing had hardened and the arm was locked in place).

Dad’s role is done; go nuts with the icing and candy, Girls!

Once the houses were both upright and the icing hardened, I just pushed the houses in their direction and let them at it.

Having a detailed plan for decorating her gingerbread house? She is so her father’s daughter.

Elaina started sketching out the design for her house and then made the corresponding changes with the icing, gumdrops, candy balls, and cookies.

This one is going to be the baker in her family

She made sure to take her time and make it look as good as possible (because they forced me to keep them on the counter until after they left for Texas), meticulously placing each piece of candy gently on the icing.

Gabriella insisted that she do all the decorating herself (including all the icing)

Gabriella really took her time decorating her gingerbread house. I would consider her style more minimalist than Elaina’s. She enjoyed putting the icing on more than anything, but felt obligated to give it a little color.

It was bound to happen sooner or later

Eventually the girls figured out that the icing tasted amazing (not as good as my buttercream frosting, but it was still sugar), so I spent the rest of the evening trying to prevent them from eating it all. Apparently “It is meant for decorating the house!” is a pretty weak argument to them.

Looks amazing, but a single bite may have steered Elaina away from gingerbread forever

In the end though, the girls both made beautiful gingerbread houses and had a great time doing it. It was a fun activity that we enjoyed as a family, which was just what we needed in our run-up to Christmas. Even though they went to their mother’s this year for the holidays, I still tried to make it as magical as possible up until the day they left. Next up: Decorating the tree and making cookies!

While Gabbs could not even wait until after the picture to start eating it

Thanks for checking in on us.


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