Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread House Party

Yesterday, we threw a party that was different from anything we’ve ever done before. We called it a Gingerbread House Party…emphasis on the House Party part. The main premise was childlike in that we were going to make “gingerbread” houses out of graham crackers and decorate them with candy, but it was fun for a group of 20 and 30-something adults.

I think the reason it was fun was that none of us has children, so we didn’t have any associations with it, other than our old childhood memories. We encouraged non-traditional and got it in the form of a snow plow, Soviet bloc housing, and a graffiti-strewn YumYum (DC-area food establishment that sells Chinese food, fried chicken and pizza that is open late at night.) In fact, mine was the only traditional house.

We provided graham crackers, icing, four types of candy, marshmallows and coconut and asked each guest to bring a candy to share. Normally I don’t ask guests to bring things, but nobody minded and doing it ensured a wide variety of candy, which made it more fun. The amount of icing made from two pounds of powdered sugar wasn’t enough for seven people. Next time I will do three pounds. Three boxes of graham crackers was the right amount.

People built their structures on paper plates, which worked out well. Because we have a small apartment, we set up our dining table as the construction station and our coffee table (which has a leaf so we could expand it) as our decorating station. This also worked out well, particularly since people arrived at different times and some people finished construction much more quickly than others. We didn’t have enough seating for around the coffee table, so we brought out our camping seating: lawn chairs and three-legged stools. No one seemed to mind it and the height was just right for the coffee table.

We served warm artichoke dip with crackers, homemade cranberry scones, and Krispy Kreme donuts. (The donuts were because it was the first day of Hanukkah and we had a Jewish friend over. In the future I would do either the donuts or the scones, not both.) To drink, we offered hot apple cider (kept warm in a Crockpot) and eggnog, both with optional dark rum, beer, and soda. We didn’t need the soda and only a couple of people drank eggnog, so we could have probably done without that too. The cider was the biggest hit.

(I’m sorry if this is boring to read about the details, but it helps me plan future parties when I have a record of what worked and what didn’t.)

My house, improperly oriented on the platter. Santa on a sled, green doormat, and path.

Other side of my house. The path leads to a swimming pool. There is a boulder by the pool covered with ice and a lifesaver nearby for safety. There is a snowman on the other side of the boulder.

Chuk's Soviet bloc house. It wasn't going to have the pitched roof initially. It has rooms inside that are not visible from the exterior.

Larry's house. He chose not to adorn it, but it does have a hinged door, which I think is quite impressive.

The snow plow buillt by my upstairs neighbors.

The Yum Yum. Bazooka Joe comics are meant to be graffitti.

I was impressed by Giovanni's chimney.

They look like a bunch of five year olds made them, but I often find there's more fun in imperfection.


  1. That looks like so much fun! Great party idea. :)

  2. What a fun idea! I may do this next year with some friends :)


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