Birthday Gingerbread

My mother has 4 grandchildren.  Every year, for many years, one of our special traditions has been helping the grandchildren make gingerbread houses on the afternoon that we celebrate Grammie’s birthday.  In all reality, there is absolutely no help needed any more.  However, it is still fun to watch the creations unfold as they do it on their own.  This year was no exception.  Mom’s birthday fell on a Sunday this year, and we all gathered for gingerbread houses and a birthday dinner.  I decided a tablescape in keeping with the theme of the day was definitely in order!


I pulled the red color from the gingerbread house kits, and brown from actual gingerbread.  These, I decided, would be the colors!  The table would be set for 10.  Since there are not often 10 people at our table, I didn’t have 10 of either of the place mat colors (Dollarama).  I decided that alternating the colors would be the way to go.  I also alternated the napkin colors.  


My cute little gingerbread man tree ornaments are the applesauce cinnamon cut outs.  Have you ever made them?  They smell so good.  I pack mine away in an air tight bag or container each year and have them for a long time.  I made this batch last year.  They would be a sweet place card, or a take home favor for your guests.  

Apple Sauce Cinnamon Ornaments

1C Cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
3/4C apple sauce
2 tbsp white glue

Combine ingredients, knead until smooth.  Roll out to 1/4″ thickness.  Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut out.  Poke a straw into the top to make a hole for a ribbon to hang it with.  Let air dry for at least 24 hours, turn them over a couple times.  OR bake at 200 degrees for a couple hours until dried out.  I have done this both ways…and MUCH prefer the air dried method.  I found the oven drying method faded the color out and I prefer darker ornaments.  (You can see the difference in color in the above picture.)


The floral arrangement is in a vintage flour canister that I picked up last year at a second hand store.  I bought four Gerber daisies and a bundle of lime green mums at the grocery store.  The pine, spruce, and berries are from my back yard.  I place a large vase in the canister and put all the greenery in first.  Then the mums and daisies were added and lastly the berries.  I don’t think I have ever done a floral arrangement in my life!  So I was pleased.  A couple shots of gold glitter hairspray finished it off nicely!  (Note:  Use the glitter hairspray BEFORE you put your dishes on the table ;0)


Two gingerbread house kits were leaning on each side of the floral arrangement.  Do you see the little set of battery operated wire ball mini lights draped across the box?  They are so cute.  I found those at Home Hardware.  I went back for a couple more sets a few days later and they were all gone!!!


I scattered several of my gingerbread man cookie cutters on the table, as well as little dishes of “decorating candy”!!


This is a mold for making your own gingerbread house (Lee Valley).  I confess that I have never been motivated enough to use it.  Buying the kits are just so much more of a time saver for me!  I used it as a plate for the cream and sugar.


Peppermint pillows…they have chocolate in the middle!


Cinnamon sticks and candy cane tree ornaments were placed  on the napkins.  White dinner plates were perfect with the red and brown accessories.  You can see the mugs that match my Christmas dishes better in the first and last picture.  They are Bordello Majolica.  It is a reasonably priced pottery made in Portugal.  I got mine at Home Sense several years ago.  You can see the dessert plates used in another tablescape HERE.


My gingerbread man muffin pan (Home Hardware), came in so handy to hold extra “decorating candy”.


We had a great afternoon and evening together celebrating our mother and grandmother.  We are so blessed to have a Godly matriarch with whom we have always been able to learn by example!

December 19, 2011 - 10:49 pm

Lorrie - What a beautiful table for a fun event!

December 19, 2011 - 11:36 pm

Kim - Sweet Tanya. I love the little elf, too :)

December 19, 2011 - 11:37 pm

Kim - Sweet Tanya. I love the little elf, too :)

December 19, 2011 - 11:42 pm

Lorna - Everything looks so pretty and very well put together. Great job!

December 20, 2011 - 12:51 am

Holly - Very lovely Tanya. I love the color scheme of reds and browns. I bought two brown bowls at the thrift store and need to use them. Thanks for the inspiration.

December 20, 2011 - 3:47 am

Barbara F. - What a great tradition and a wonderful table. Merry Christmas to you and your family. xo

December 20, 2011 - 8:30 am

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants - What a beautiful tradition and celebration! New to your blog. I came over from Table Top Tuesday, I need to take a look around.

December 20, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Cindy - Hi Tanya, I love your centerpiece! Very natural looking and it totally goes with your theme. Thank you for the comments on my blog. I am new here to blogland but I am having a wonderful time with all of you insanely talented ladies!
Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2011 - 7:05 pm

Marlis - Tanya, I love your centerpiece, the alternating colors, the theme (oh how wonderful the grands still come to play) and how you carried it all out.. it’s a wonderful table.. xo marlis

December 20, 2011 - 11:46 pm

Pamela Gordon - Tanya this is so beautiful. I love the whole idea of gathering to make ginger bread houses in honour of your mother and grandmother and setting the table theme of gingerbread is perfect. A fun time I’m sure! Blessings, Pamela

December 21, 2011 - 1:09 am

Pamela - Sooo fun and I must say your pictures look amazing! Thanx for sharing!

December 21, 2011 - 1:09 am

~~Carol~~ - Oh my goodness, that table is absolutely gorgeous, especially that centerpiece in the vintage flour canister! And it sounds like it was a wonderful birthday celebration for your Mom!
Happy Christmas and Merry REDnesday!

December 21, 2011 - 2:16 am

LV - What a great family tradition.

December 21, 2011 - 3:42 am

Shelia - Your table is so pretty! Love the colors and all the little gingerbread touches! :) That’s a sweet tradition to have!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia 😉

December 22, 2011 - 12:56 am

Tricia - What pretty photos! I really love all the red and the gingerbread ornaments :)

December 22, 2011 - 2:47 am

Alycia Nichols - “Decorating” candy…uh huh, sure! 😉 How much of it actually made it onto the house? That’s half the fun, though! I have never even heard of making ornaments that way. I am going to write down the recipe and try them next year to decorate the tree for the children’s party. If they smell like all those wonderful ingredients (minus the glue, of course!), then I’m in!!! You did a great job on your floral arrangement! You GO, girl!!! The whole table if just fun and festive! Happy belated birthday to your dear Mom, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2011 - 3:00 am

CJ - I think Grammie and I share the same birthday, and I may have to copycat her tradition when my grandgirl is old enough. What a lovely table you created for your mother. She is blessed indeed. ~CJ

December 22, 2011 - 3:39 am

Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes - Your tablescape is wonderful! I felt like I was turning the pages of a high-end magazine as I scrolled through your post. Totally gorgeous! I love the simple accent of the candy canes on each place setting. The brown, red and white are beautiful together. Your decorative touches are so fun and add great whimsy to the ‘scape. Loved this!

December 22, 2011 - 3:47 am

The Vintage Chateau - Your gingerbread man table setting is charming, what a cute theme!

December 22, 2011 - 6:41 am

marissa - this is so gorgeous I’d love you to add this to my What We Wore and Made link party over at

December 22, 2011 - 11:52 am

special 'k' - Your table is gorgeous. I am so glad I found your special place here. Thanks for sharing. I will follow on my way out so as I would love to visit again. I hope you will find the time to come visit my place and do the same. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to engaging and supporting your blog in the New Year. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

December 22, 2011 - 2:29 pm

Redo 101 - Love every bit of this – what a wonderful time together as a family, celebrating your mom’s birthday. Thanks for sharing it with us.


December 22, 2011 - 11:18 pm

Susan (My Place to Yours) - Tanya, there are so many things I love about this table, not the least of which is blessing Grammie with your presence and festive gingerbread man-making tradition on her birthday! Your color scheme and little touches are perfect for the theme — and I love the memories you evoke in me with those cinnamon applesauce ornaments. We made those when my children were young, but that was years ago. I should probably make some with my grandson…

Merry Christmas and God’s richest blessings to you and yours during this holy season and in the year ahead!

December 23, 2011 - 4:22 am

Entertaining Women - What an incredibly precious way to celebrate. The table and all the details are wonderful. Thank you for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

December 23, 2011 - 4:24 am

Jo Ann - This is the most fun tablescape I’ve ever seen! I love it! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us!

December 23, 2011 - 7:43 am

Sue - Your table looks so sweet and charming! I love the gingerbread theme with the brown and red:) I’ll have to throw myself(Dec. 12) a party like this next year when all the grandchildren come at Christmas time!

December 24, 2011 - 8:08 am

TiKiMOOSE - Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Your blog is AMAZING! I love your photography and your layouts, such creativity and so artistic.
Your table is beautiful too.
Have a very Merry Christmas.


December 26, 2011 - 3:39 pm

Chatty Chics - So cute! Everything is adorable! Great job! Thanks so much for linking up! Please come back again on Wednesday and link up some more projects!

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