This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market. However, all thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own. See full disclosures here.
Helloooo November! I’m pretty sure it’s now socially acceptable to celebrate Christmas for the entire month of November and December. And if not? Welllll I’m gonna do it anyway! This year we have an extra special reason to go all out with our Christmas traditions. We are hosting a Spanish exchange student and I am now supervising 3 other exchange students through the program. These kids are so so so much fun to be around and we enjoy introducing all of them to our traditions. Every Christmas our family decorates Gingerbread houses so we thought it would be fun to have all the students over and let them decorate their own Gingerbread houses. Cost Plus World Market was such a huge help in getting all the supplies we needed to go all out with our Gingerbread Decorating Party!
I knew right away I wanted to decorate the big Manor Gingerbread House myself. I knooooow, so greedy. But every year I watch my kiddos go nuts on their Gingerbread houses and just once I wanted to decorate my own and use it as the centerpiece of the table. The Manor Gingerbread house is such a great kit! It comes with adorable candies and PLENTY of icing, which is the most important part! It was easy to put together too. I put mine together in about 20 minutes and let it dry overnight before decorating. I used shredded wheat for the roof and black icing for the window and door trim. I love how cute it turned out!
For the students little houses I purchased the Alpine Gingerbread Village kit. It comes with 5 adorable little Gingerbread structures and again, plenty of candies and icing! I also put all of these together ahead of time, so the kids wouldn’t be frustrated and they could get right to decorating. Just in case the kids wanted to really go crazy with the candy decorations I also got this Holiday Treat Toppers Box Set. (seen in the above + below photo)
To dress up the room and add some drama I hung these oversized Christmas Lanterns. They are Laser Cut Paper Lanterns that Cost Plus World Market carries (you buy the light kit separately).These Christmas Lanterns certainly set the scene for a magical party! I added a few Christmas balls I already had on hand as well.
I wanted to have a little gift to send home with the students so we made Caramel Gingerbread Popcorn and put it in these oh-so-sweet gift boxes! They each come with twine and a gift tag which makes life so easy when you’re already in major party planning mode.
Caramel Gingerbread Popcorn
2 bags popcorn, popped
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Ginger spice
1 tsp Cinnamon spice
Melt butter and brown sugar in a sauce pot and bring to a boil for one minute. Add Ginger and Cinnamon to the pot and stir well. Make sure all of the unpopped kernels are removed from your popcorn. Pour caramel over popcorn and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with more ginger and cinnamon. It’s best to spread the popcorn out on a cookie sheet while the caramel sets. Store in airtight container.
We also set up a Hot Cocoa bar to add to the festive fun!! I used a roll of chalkboard wrapping paper also from Cost Plus World Market. I put a little of this paper in the center of the dining table too, just because it was so cute to work with. I made homemade cocoa for the first time, in the crockpot and left it sitting at the bar so the kiddos could get to it easily while decorating their houses. We used these marshmallow spoons and peppermint poles to the cocoa bar. They were a huge hit with the kids and adults! Especially the chocolate marshmallow spoons.
Homemade Crockpot Hot Cocoa
6 Cups Whole Milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in the crockpot and whisk vigorously for a minute or two, until the cocoa powder starts to be incorporated. Set the crockpot on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. Whisk every 45 minutes or so to make sure the chocolate doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn. Serve with some amazing toppings!
Those spoons and poles we got from our Columbus Easton Cost Plus World Market (you can find your local Cost Plus World Market HERE) really made these cups of cocoa something special! So decadent and isn’t that what a party is supposed to be like?! Cost Plus World Market carries a large selection of Christmas Baking Kits & Mixes, which was perfect for our Gingerbread House Decorating Party!
We used this insanely adorable cookie cutter to make little mini Gingerbread houses that sit on the sides of your hot cocoa mug. So stinkin’ cute!!
We had several hot cocoa toppings so I just put each one in mason jars then wrapped the jar with leftover leather scraps. I printed modern font labels so they would know what each topping was and then used electrical (!!!) tape cut into a little triangle to secure the labels to the leather. Super easy but so cute!
We all enjoyed this party so much! All of the students loved getting to participate in an American tradition of decorating Gingerbread Houses for Christmas. Cost Plus World Market’s Holiday shop has plenty to choose from to make your holiday festive and fun!
Let Brandi Milloy show you how to bring 3 delightful (and affordable!) Cost Plus World Market
looks to your holiday tablescape. Go for classic Christmas dinnerware colors, add a touch of
wintery shimmer with silver and white table decor, or create global style with vibrant table linens.
These festive finds also make fun Christmas gifts! Imagine the joy you’ll bring. #GiftThemJoy
Want to throw your own Gingerbread Decorating Party? Get everything you need below!