One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is our annual Gingerbread House Competition. I know lots of people love to make gingerbread houses with their kids for Christmas, but we take it a step further and turn it into a competition. I know it sounds crazy, but we have so much fun competing for a slip of paper that proclaims our house as the best in a certain category. (Even the teenage grandchildren love to come and banter with their parents over who should win in each category and that says a lot!)
**Now you could go out and buy a gingerbread house kit to save yourself a lot of time….but we choose to be creative and save money by building ours with graham crackers. (We also use hot glue to build the houses, this makes them more durable and less likely to fall apart under all that icing and candy that we pile on there)
Here are all the things you need to host your own competition:
Graham Crackers (or individual gingerbread house kits)
Hot glue(if you are an extreme builder)
Frosting (We usually use about one jar per 2-3 people)
Variety of candies (M&Ms, Skittles, Twizzlers, Smarties, peppermints, candy canes, gum drops, Hershey kisses, edible Christmas figurines, marshmallows, chocolate chips, etc)
Sprinkles of various colors and shapes
Index cards or strips of paper to make winner labels (We usually put on a couple of Christmas stickers to spruce it up a bit)
** If you want to offer a small prize for each winner then candy prizes like large candy canes or holiday chocolate bars are always a big hit
The next thing you need to determine is which categories you will be judging the houses on. Our usual ones include: Best Overall, Best Roof, Best Yard, Most Christmasy, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Most Unique(the most coveted of all categories for some reason!), Prettiest, and Best Winter Scene. You can really choose any categories that will suit your family’s taste like: Most Patriotic, Best Team Spirit (sports team colors or logos), Most Religious, etc.
The last thing you will need is a unbiased judge. My father is usually our judge and he loves to do it! The judge should not be watching the houses being built because they might be swayed by who is doing the building…..trust me….
I hope your family might add this fun tradition to your Christmas season and get from it all the joy and memories that we have for the past 10 years.