My friend Stacy issued a "25 Days of Christmas" challenge.
To participate, post 25 ways you celebrate the Christmas season.
Shelly (Rebecca and Ben's mom) invited us to join a group of homeschooling families from her church for the annual "Gingerbread" house decorating party -- a party where no actual gingerbread was involved. The houses were actually fashioned from graham crackers hot-glued to milk cartons. We had the large cartons with the side spout for pouring -- hello, chimney! -- where others used small fabric softener cartons or school-sized milk cartons. There were houses of all shapes and sizes. Everything else about decorating was the same as if done on a house of gingerbread, though the icing was merely for aesthetics and not for structural support.
Children came to the party with houses already prepared. At the party, we were given bowls and bags of a simple icing to spread or pipe as we wished. Everyone who attended also contributed to the decor buffet. I brought sprinkled peppermint chips and animal crackers, but other decorative items included pretzel sticks, sugar wafers, spice drops, chocolate stars, licorice whips, candy canes, colored marshmallows, cinnamon imps, and all manners of leftover Halloween candy. There was something for everyone, except one preteen who wondered why no candy present resembled blood.
The party was so simple. No snacks (besides the candy) were provided, and people sipped from the church water fountain as they grew thirsty. The only work I could see taking place was table set-up and icing preparation, and then clean-up following. Invitations were primarily extended by word-of-mouth. It was such a fun experience, we're already planning to attend next year. I may go so far as to host a party for my own homeschool group!