Gingerbread Christmas

Move home they said. Host the Christmas party they said. Mounds of frosting and 30+ dozen cookies later, I’m not sure they’re feeling the same.

In lieu of the Cardenas/Galvin Christmas gift exchange this year we did a Gingerbread House making party for the kiddos, cookie competition & exchange for the moms and Prime Rib Dinner. Oh boy!! With 10 nieces and nephews, 11 adults, all the cookies and 8 gingerbread houses, it was a party to say the least. Our current house, while sizeable, isn’t superb for entertaining, but we make do. Must get (or build) a place with a bigger kitchen or at least an eat-in dining area.


The two oldest nephews decided not to participate (see lurking plate of dinner) and the next down nephew did a minimalist house (see lone house with lacking over abundance of frosting and candy) and fled the scene.


Orderly, very orderly.

Although, I had said the Gingerbread Houses were going to be a two part competition, the younger set using milk carton bases and the older doing freestyle building, Vance vetoed me judging them. What is Christmas without tears and disappointment? That’s what I said!!! But alas, I didn’t judge them and the kiddos did great. Somehow, only my two needed personal assistants, as Auntie Elise pointed out. Ha!! They are their mother’s children and demand attention. They can’t help it. And let’s just say our second to oldest builder was the messiest by far. Frosting in the hair, on the face, the arms, the table, probably the chair and floor…

I tried to stay out of the Gingerbread arena, partially to set up cookies and partially to not take over. But you might ask….Where were the dads? Watching the fight in the other room. When I asked hubby about this later he said, “THEY (meaning himself) needed a break.” Indeed they did and they earned it.


John’s Peppermint Palace.


Wins, in my competitive book, for largest house. A little messy with the frosting, but I love her spirit.

The cookies: Oh yes, there were cookies!! LOTS and lots of cookies. I was impressed; all the bakers brought their A-Game. We had red velvet whoopee pies, cake batter cookies, lemon bars, sugar cookies, candycane biscotti and the winner: No Bake Oreo Truffles, by a landslide. YES!! This WAS a judged competition – by all taste testers, although the hubbies were nervous they HAD to vote for their spouses and I had to harass everyone for votes. I think next year they might not care as much. While that baker received the grand prize, all the bakers were rewarded with a home sewn apron; it is Christmas after all and perfect for wearing on their next baking adventure.


“Whoa Buddy!” Dinner has been cleared and cookies are OUT!! for sampling. Not that we could muster a lot of samples from stuffing ourselves at dinner.


My Peppermint Biscotti Bites. (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

The food: Team Walker graciously supplied the Prime Rib and even did a slab well done for the expecting mother in the group. There was a point when Pete was slicing the meat and looking for a serving platter, where a person whose name starts with the letter VANCE, slid his plate in the way and then hid in the corner wolfing down said contraband meat.

I failed to get a photo of the meat or any of the dinner portion. Whoops!

“That’s the biggest meat eating vegetarian I’ve ever seen!” – Captain Carl (“Morgan”)

All in all it was a fantastic afternoon into evening of fun, family and FOOD! Are we doing it again next year? I think we’ll let the sugar settle before we make that decision.