Tuesday, January 12, 2010

House decorating

Back in either late November or early December I decided that I wanted to make a gingerbread house. I figured this would be a fun activity to share with our friends. Well due to scheduling, we couldn't get together until this past Saturday. So we decorated houses and then had a re-gift Yankee Swap.

It's funny, because when we had the supplies on our counter in the kitchen it didn't look like we had all that much. So we asked people to bring some candy to share. Wow, when it all was on the table, it was apparent that we had more than enough!

To allow time for the houses to set up before decorating, Chris and I made the basic house shape in advance. And we used graham crackers since I figured it would be easier than baking enough gingerbread to make 17 houses. So we started putting them together on Friday night. And we soon discovered that two boxes of graham crackers weren't enough, so we finished them up on Saturday morning after a trip to the grocery store. And in the end, 2 people were unable to make it, which was probably a good thing as the house was pretty full with 15 people (6 of them being kids).

We started off the evening with dinner. I think in Chris' and my minds we were thinking we would start with decorating and people could eat whenever, but as it turned out, we ate and then decorated. Back at the end of December I had come across this recipe for mini ham and cheese sandwiches. I thought they sounded good, but was also somewhat skeptical. But we gave them a try, and they were delicious! A little greasy/buttery, but very good. We knew those wouldn't be enough, so we also had salad and pizza. We recently discovered the BEST pizza ever. Papa John's BBQ Chicken with Bacon. Amazing! Normally it comes with onions, but we have a number of non-onion people, so we got it without. Still very good. That pizza went quickly.

For one family, this was their first time coming to one of our game nights. They commented that they found it amusing that we essentially hosted a kids' party when we don't have kids. Hey, we like to do fun "kids" activities. :) Besides, I've found that sometimes it's better to include the kids if not having them there would mean that the parents are unable to come due to lack of babysitters, etc. So the kids come and they run around the house, play games, watch movies, etc.

And it's not like we ignore the kids. Kristin was the first of the adults to finish decorating her house. Probably because she wasn't busy helping the kids with theirs. So when she was done she started playing with the kids. It seems their game was to all hold onto her legs as she tried to walk.

We rounded out the evening with a Yankee Swap. For the most part it was a re-gift Yankee Swap, but I think there were a couple of items purchased especially for the event. I think one of the "best" gifts was a small glass plate etched with an image of The Last Supper. But the best part of it was when Caitlyn referred to it as "Thanksgiving". Her mom then responded that she thought they needed to get to church a little more often.

So to wrap this up, here are some more pictures of the houses.

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