I am all about having fun with my kiddo at the holidays and making memories to last a lifetime. What I am not about, however, is stressing myself out in the process. Thus, my philosophy is finding hacks & shortcuts to make it fun for both mom & kiddo!

One tradition my family & friends love to partake in each holiday is getting together to decorate gingerbread houses. Over the years, we’ve perfected the process to make it as simple as possible, so today, I’m sharing my tips with you.

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First, buy build-your-own gingerbread house kits. There are quite a few out there at your local big box stores, as well as craft stores and they are less then $10. If you want to get even LESS work on yourself, you can pick up a ready-to-decorate house, and it’s already built! I mean, how much easier can get than than, right?!?! There are even mini houses for those not wanting to take on a bigger house, or for those with smaller kiddos.

A few of us mamas get together a night or two before our party and put together the houses. It gives us a chance to chat and drink wine! Double the fun!

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Second, the house kits come with everything you need, so there is really nothing else you HAVE to buy. However, if you have leftover candy from Halloween, this is a great time to break it out from hiding. Also, thinking ahead for next year’s party, buy candy at various after-holiday sales and save it up. We’ve done this and then we put out extra candy & notions for the kids.

Third, the day of your party, set up a table and put everything out. If you have room on your patio or outside (if the weather permits), that is an added plus, so it’s easier to clean up any mess. We pick up some plastic table clothes from the dollar store. These make for easy clean up, as you can literally throw away the aftermath that’s left on the tables.

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Fourth, let the kids dig in & help them decorate! It really is a fun time! I have to say that my good friend is who hosts our friendly get together each year, so I have to give her the credit for starting our group’s event, and being such an amazing host! We all love it, though, and the last few years, even a few of the adults (my hubby included) have started a friendly competition of decorating their own houses after the kids have their fun. Hilarious!

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What holiday traditions do you have with your friends and family? What hacks & shortcuts do you use to keep them simple & stress-free? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!


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