What could be more fun than decorating gingerbread houses? Challenging your family or friends to a Gingerbread House Throw Down!

A throw down is when an ordinary event is elevated to the next level, creating a unique and memorable experience for your guests.
There is no better way to put a spin on the classic gingerbread house than to create a competition where decorators have to think outside the box and work with a few surprises. Since there is nothing traditional about a Gingerbread House Throw Down, you don't even need to use actual gingerbread! Follow these three simple steps to hosting a Christmas event your guests won't be able to stop talking about.


No matter if you send them electronically or on paper, set the tone by expressing the fun of this gathering. Let your guests know that they have been challenged to a throw down, meaning they need to be prepared to come with their A-game! All they need to know aside from the when and the where is to bring one item of their choosing to incorporate into their gingerbread house design.


As the host, you will be responsible for providing the necessities. To cut costs, have families/couples/siblings work in teams, instead of individually.
For each team you will need:

  • 1 shoe box
  • 1 can of store bought white icing
  • butter knife for spreading
  • surprise item to be unwrapped as the challenge begins*

You will also need some items that the competing groups will be forced to share. This is when you can let your creativity run wild! But before you get too carried away with the extras, make sure to have these crucial items available:

  • scissors
  • tape
  • candy pieces

Other fun things to have for use are ribbons, stickers, buttons and q-tips.

*The surprise items needs to be a challenge to incorporate. Think golfballs, socks, matchbox cars - the more random the better!


On the day of the challenge, set out a space for each team to work. Make sure to cover the work area with newspaper (or wrapping paper!) to protect your furniture or countertops. Lay out the supplies and the wrapped surprise item for each team at their work station, then create a central location for the shared supplies. Once everyone has arrived and is ready to throw down, start the timer and let the fun begin! Typically a 30 minute time frame is sufficient.

Once the time is called, all creating stops. As the host, you will have the task of judging the most creative and outlandish gingerbread house. It is your choice to offer a prize or bragging rights.

A Gingerbread House Throw Down is a fun way to spice up the usual Christmas Eve with family as well as a great excuse to get together with friends.