3 Alternatives to the Traditional Gingerbread House

It’s believed that gingerbread houses first gained popularity in Germany in the early 1800’s. Back then they were simple structures made of gingerbread and designed to look like traditional homes. Since that time, the tradition has grown and evolved and now, in many American homes, gingerbread houses are a messy, expensive holiday treat that, while being totally fun to create, bring more headaches than joy to parents. If you’re looking for a fun holiday tradition and treat, but want to avoid the mess and expense of gingerbread houses, check out the ideas below.

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Image via Flickr/ HannahWebb

1. Gingerbread cookies

If you enjoy the crafting and making, but don’t love the mess that gets left behind as gingerbread houses are slowly eaten, consider making gingerbread cookies instead. Gingerbread cookies allow you and your kiddos to have fun with frosting and candies and to eat their fill – then to pass the rest on to neighbors or friends and move on to other holiday activities. 

{ MORE: The Secret to Keeping Your Toddler in Bed All Night (It's So Simple!) }

2. Homemade holiday decorations

If it’s the decorative aspects of gingerbread houses that you appreciate, consider holding a holiday craft afternoon with your little ones instead. String holiday-colored paper chains around the house, create ornaments for your tree, or paint holiday themed pictures to hang above the mantel for the season. Combine the afternoon with present wrapping and your house will gain a festive feel by the end of the day. Your little ones will love seeing their handmade work on display and your home will ready for the holidays in no time.

3. Hot chocolate and holiday stories

If it’s the quiet, quality time spent soaking in the holiday spirit that’s always drawn you to gingerbread houses, consider trading the tradition for an evening of hot chocolate and story time. Cuddle up with your babies and your sweet drink and watch them appreciate each sip and each story! 

{ MORE: Does Your Baby Have a Holiday Birthday? Check Out These Tips to Make it Special! }

How else will you celebrate the holidays with your little ones?

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3 Alternatives to the Traditional Gingerbread House

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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