One of my favorite holiday activities with the little ones is decorating gingerbread houses. And we had so much fun doing so last time with the wonderful Amy Blessing, that we had to do it again this season. This year, she provided us with an amazing assortment of natural materials for decorating, which brought a refreshing twist to the traditionally candy-coated houses.
Instead of making our own gingerbread and icing, we used one of my favorite pre-made kits from Trader Joe’s. With a wonderfully distinct shape, their design was modeled after a hexenhaus – literally, witch's house – whose origins can be tied to the Grimm's tale of Hansel & Gretel. And just as great: no synthetic colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives are used in the gingerbread or décor.
To decorate, we laid out burlap tablecloths, the houses (which we had assembled ahead of time), and Amy's simple yet inspired assortment of natural decorations, including: cloves, allspice, cinnamon sticks, greens from the flower mart (cut into tiny pieces), small pinecones, little jingle bells, white paper feathers, and tiny wreaths from Moscatels.