How to Avoid Gingerbread Disaster
You're Really Building Memories
I always set aside one night during the Christmas season to do Christmas crafts with my kids, and now my grand-kids. No matter how the craft turns out, it's something the kids will always remember. When they look back on it they forget about the frustration and just remember that you did it with them. It's become a family tradition that my daughter is carrying on with her family.
How to Build a Really Mediocre Gingerbread Village in Only 6 Hours
Tonight I helped my granddaughter put together and decorate a pre-fab gingerbread Christmas Village. What a freakin’ pain in the... oh, oops I mean what a wonderful memory we will share.
Maybe there are some really crafty people out there that this Christmas project would be a cinch for, but I’m not one of them. If you haven’t done this before and are thinking about building a gingerbread village, let me give you a few tips to smooth the way. Perhaps you can learn something from my mistakes.
Tips for Avoiding Gingerbread Disaster
If you are building gingerbread houses with kids under about 12, you'll be better off if you put the houses together yourself first. They won’t be able to help and it can be very frustrating for them. The decorating is really the fun part anyway.
The box says the gingerbread houses need to sit for an hour after assembly before you decorate them, I would say this is the bare minimum. I would recommend leaving them for at least 3 hours before you make any attempt at decorating them.
Do not attempt to move the gingerbread houses immediately after assembly, they tend to come apart if you move them too soon. Choose a cool place where the finished houses can sit safely for a while until the icing sets.
If you are building from a gingerbread village kit with more than one house, like I did, cut the pieces of one house out, then assemble it before cutting up the next one. Some of the pieces look pretty similar and you don’t want them to get mixed up.
If you have a pastry bag, that will make putting the gingerbread pieces together somewhat easier, those plastic icing bags that come in the kits really don’t work very well.
Don’t expect your gingerbread village to look like the picture on the box. Although, if you follow these tips it will probably come out looking considerably better than mine did.
If this helps even one person be more successful with assembling their gingerbread village, my job is done. I’m posting pictures of the results, but I really wish I had taken one of the colossal mess we made.
Oh well, enjoy the holidays and don’t let the grinch get you!
Have you Built a Gingerbread House or Village from a Kit?
More Gingerbread Follies
This is a hilarious video. I especially like her use of a soda can to keep the roof from sliding off. However, I don't think it's actually "impossible," as ItsJillStrif on YouTube says, to make a great looking gingerbread house. It just takes practice and patience.
A Nice Gingerbread Village
He was much neater during the process than we were, we had a huge mess to contend with when we were done (at about midnight). I noticed in the video that the kids were present, but did not really participate in the process.