- Holidays and Celebrations
How to Have a Charlie Brown Christmas Eve with a Snoopy Gingerbread Doghouse.
What Goodies Can Be Found In This Lens?
* A Charlie Brown Christmas; clips, facts, & fun things you didn't know.
* The cool new Snoopy Gingerbread Doghouse kit, plus other cute gingerbread house kits you may enjoy.
* Some pretty awesome tips on how to make a gingerbread house from a "seasoned professional".
* But, to begin, please enjoy a humble story about one family's Christmas Eve tradition...
I'm sure you know, Charlie Brown.
I'm pretty positive that everyone knows (and loves) Charlie Brown. I'm sure throughout the years you've seen it rerun on the TV, or perhaps you own the collection. Either way, Charlie Brown touches lives everywhere - after all, it is a true classic.
I know Charlie Brown from my mother, who loves to watch them during the Christmas season. My Mom and I are true Christmas movie lovers, who make it a point to sit around the TV with a good old Christmas tale, while sipping hot chocolate and munching on sugar cookies. To us, that's makes the best Christmas Eve; spending it with family, yummy snacks and fun Christmas stories to get us in the Christmas spirit.
(Fact: A Charlie Brown Christmas broke a lot of rules for Christmas specials in the 1960s, like the fact that real children were used for the characters voices, instead of adult actors imitating children's voices; there wasn't any use of a laugh track; there was a blatant message in the Christmas special; also, there were many Biblical references used to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas. Initially, CBS was horrified at the idea of A Charlie Brown Christmas, for those reasons.)
A Charlie Brown Christmas
In this short, 25 minute TV episode, titled "A Charlie Brown Christmas", Charlie Brown is repelled against all the materialism and commercialism he sees during the Christmas season. And for some reason can't seem to get in the "Christmas spirit"... Therefore goes on a hunt to find out the true meaning of Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is really a wonderful TV show to watch with the whole family. Everyone will enjoy a little Charlie Brown during the Christmas season!
Clips & Scenes from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
"I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed." - Charlie Brown
Snoopy Gingerbread Doghouse
As I mentioned before, tradition for my Mom and I is having loads of yummy, handmade snacks to ravish while we have our annual Christmas Eve movie marathon; cookies, cakes, treats and pies, we like to have a variety of Christmas snacks.
While the type of snacks may vary, there is one thing that we make every year... A gingerbread house. Having a gingerbread house is a Christmastime classic, and something fun for the whole family to enjoy - both the making, and the eating!
If you know anything about my Mom or me, it's that we are "theme" sort of girls - meaning we love to have cutesie holiday themes. And this year, while my Mom was browsing on Amazon.com, she came across a Charlie Brown themed Gingerbread house.
The gingerbread house is actually a Snoopy gingerbread doghouse kit, where instead of a simple gingerbread house, you make cute Snoopy doghouses instead.
Now while I haven't tried this kit yet, I can't wait to! The kit available on Amazon looks adorable; you can make four gingerbread doghouses out of the pre-baked gingerbread and the pre-made icing. Then you can decorate them using the jelly Snoopys, candy jewels, and fun scene setters that are included in the kit.
Some Gingerbread Decorating Tips from Me to You
I've been decorating gingerbread houses since I was a kid; my Mom made it a tradition to make a gingerbread house every year. And even as an adult, that is a tradition I'd like to keep; it's important to still stay connected with family, and what better way to do that through holiday traditions?
Throughout those years, my Mom and I have made numerous gingerbread houses. Some of them were gorgeous; winter wonderlands with children ice skating and throwing snowballs; some of them were simple; plain gingerbread house decorated with peppermint candies and dripping white frosting; and other gingerbread houses we made (especially during the early years) were, well, flops; crumbling walls and crooked roofs. But in all that gingerbread imperfection, was a fun (and delicious) time spent with my Mom... and friends, who sometimes joined in the festivities.
Needless to say, as an adult, I've got some gingerbread skills tucked under my sleeves... and I figured I'd share them with you:
* My first tip? Read the directions; don't skip 'em! There may be useful information in there that will help you build your gingerbread house and decorate it.
* It's always great to put a layer of icing down and build your gingerbread house on top of it. This makes it easier to stay upright, and will create a strong foundation for the rest of the gingerbread house. But if you know you stink at assembling a gingerbread house, don't fret. There are many pre-assembled gingerbread houses available, like this one.
* Your gingerbread house breaks. Oh no! What do you do? First, take a deep breath and exhale all the frustration. No, you can't go all destroyer on the rest of the house and crush it to pieces. Once your calm (and the rest of your gingerbread house is, in effect, safe) get out your icing and begin gluing the broken pieces of your gingerbread house together. As an alternative to frosting, you can use Fluff (melted marshmallow) for a very, very sticky glue.
* Always, always, always, let your gingerbread house dry properly before decorating it. If you start too soon, your house is likely to crumble. I'd suggest that you wait about three hours for the whole thing to dry. Sounds like a lot but three hours of waiting is better than six crumbled walls. If you're impatient, or you have kids, you can always watch a Christmas movie or two while waiting for your gingerbread house to dry. Either that, or you can build your gingerbread house before bed, and then let it sit overnight while you sleep. When you get up in the morning, voila! your gingerbread house will be ready to decorate.
* I suggest that you decorate the gingerbread house before you do the landscape. This way, you know you have the materials to complete the house successfully.
* In almost (well, probably all) of the gingerbread houses I've made... I've ran out of frosting, which is a bummer. But I learned this trick from my Mom: You can make inexpensive frosting from powdered sugar and water. Just mix the two ingredients together (my Mom doesn't use measuring cups, so you kind of have to eye-it) until you get a frosting-like consistency that's stiff enough to act like a glue, but soft enough to spread easily.
* If you made your own icing, you can either: 1) Keep it in a bowl. 2) Put it in a store bought pastry bag, or 3) Make your own pastry bag out of a simple Ziploc bag, and you can read how to do that here.
* To keep your homemade icing from drying out too quick, place a moist towel or washcloth over the bag/bowl of icing.
* I'm not a simple kind of girl; even my simple is extraordinary (eh, hem. If I do say so myself). Therefore, I don't limit myself to what's included in the gingerbread house kit. I like to buy different decorating materials (that are edible, of course) like: sprinkles, chocolate chips, candy canes, lollipops, pretzels, etc...
* If you want to make colored icing, I'd suggest you use paste food coloring instead of liquid, because liquid food coloring will thin out the icing. Either that, or make sure (when you make your icing) that it's a tad-bit harder than you'd like it, so when you add the liquid food color, it evens it out.
* If you want to make a snowman for your gingerbread house, you have to do it right. My first attempt at making a snowman in my gingerbread houses' landscape was an epic fail. I didn't know this at the time, but the reason I had a melting snowman was because the icing I was using wasn't hard enough to build a proper snowman. Aren't you glad I made that dripping snowman? Otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell you how to make one properly: What you do is make a special batch of icing from confectioners' sugar and water, only mix it until it has a dough-like consistency so you call roll it into balls and it will hold. You're welcome. *wink*
Building a Gingerbread House? Here's Some Super-Cute Kits...
This is the infamous Snoopy Gingerbread Doghouse Kit I've been raving about.
It comes with:
- Pre-baked gingerbread.
- Pre-made icing.
- Jelly Snoopys!
- Cute scene setters like Charlie Brown himself, a cute little Christmas tree, Linus, etc.
- Decorating bags & tips.
- Yummy candy jewels.
This kit is perfect for anyone who adores Charlie Brown. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to devour this tasty looking thing on Christmas Eve!
I love the odd, and/or the different. So when I saw this Gingerbread Tree Kit, I knew I had to share it with you.
It seems really easy to assemble, more so than the usual gingerbread houses, so this might be the perfect kit to buy a newbie gingerbread house (or in this case, tree) maker.
It comes with:
- 14 gingerbread cookies (which make up the Christmas tree; you just stack them with icing in the middle).
- Green & white icing mix.
- 3 gift icing decorations.
- 1 star icing decoration.
- Multi-colored candies for decorating the tree.
- 2 icing bags.
- 2 decorating tips for the icing bags.
- And complete instructions on how to make this pretty (no doubt delish) gingerbread Christmas tree.
Besides Charlie Brown, I had to say I love Rudolph. (Who doesn't?)
So if you're a Rudolph lover, you might be interested in making a delicious little gingerbread house, complete with Santa, Rudolph the Red Nose Rhiendeer and tons of yummy candy.
It comes with everything you need to make a gingerbread house: gingerbread, icing, candy, Santa, Rudolph, etc.
(This kit also has an option for, instead of Rudolph, you can get a Spongebob Gingerbread Pinapple kit. Which, if you love Spongebob, is an adorable idea.)