How to Host the Christmas Ultimate Gingerbread House Party (Slideshow)

Get in the spirit for the holidays with this fun activity

1. The gingerbread

If you're throwing a gingerbread house decorating party, you'll obviously need gingerbread. Decide how you want to tackle this. Are you ever the DIYer who can't buy something when it can be homemade? Or are you the type to accept that sometimes, life is easier with something store-bought? If you're the DIY type, get started well in advance by baking your gingerbread house sections. But for a bit of ease, head to a craft store and pick up a few pre-made and assemble gingerbread houses.

2. Royal Icing


Royal icing is an absolutely imperative part of gingerbread house decorating. It is essentially the glue the holds everything together. It can be a bit tricky to work with, however, since it tends to dry up quite quickly. Put your royal icing in piping bags for easy decorating but be sure to provide glasses with a bit of water at the bottom. When not in use, put the bags - tip side down- in the glass to keep the icing from drying.

3. The Goodies


Every gingerbread house should be decked out in candies and goodies. So be sure to provide lots of options for your guests. Necco wafers, gum drops and M&Ms are on most gingerbread houses but try to get creative and have a little fun with it.

4. Extra Sparkle


It's the holidays, a time when you can never have too much glitter and sparkle.  Consider providing a few edible sparkle options, such as edible glitter or disco dust in assorted colors, for an extra bling. Disco dust is essentially fine-grain edible glitter. Keep in mind, it functions in a similar manner as glitter (read - messy). Have some clean paint brushes and newspaper on hand to eliminate some of the messy cleanup.

5. Sprinkles


These days, there are sprinkles of all shapes and sizes. Grab a few that will enhance your gingerbread house. Use a small dab of royal icing to glue them on. Consider having royal icing in different colors - think black for a strand of lights - on hand for extra pizzazz.

6. Eats


Any time you have a party - be it a cocktail or decorating party - you should always provide some sort of snack item to nosh on. Think easy and quick, since you'll really want people to focus on decorating. Festive holiday wraps take five minutes to whip up and are easy to grab and go.

7. The Tools


Assembling a gingerbread house typically requires a steady hand and a few important tools. Be sure to pick up a piping bag, perhaps two, so that you can steadily apply the glue for the pieces. In addition, an offset spatula will help you to easily spread any icing or decor you choose.

8. Cleaning Up


As with just about any fun holiday decorating party, there will be mess. It is inevitable and needs to be accepted as fact. Be sure to make cleanup easier by laying some vinyl tablecloths down. Also, consider having a few glasses filled with water and some paper towels around to help with any stubborn royal icing.

9. Take-Out


Guests that make gingerbread houses at your party will most likely want to take them home. It's only natural to want to display your finished product. But a gingerbread house can be fragile, especially while it is still in the drying stages. Grab some large boxes and line them with bubble wrap so the gingerbread houses have a nice cushion inside for the trip home.

10. Contests


If you want to make your gingerbread party fun and a little competitive, consider having a contest. A prize for the most elegant, a prize for the most creative, a prize for the most sparkly. It will get the creative juices going to your attendants.