The earliest records of gingerbread date back to medieval times when spices first spread across Europe. Bread, cake and cookie recipes using ginger have been popular for centuries, and these regional varieties slowly merged and transformed into the baked good we recognize today.
Once eaten year-round, gingerbread became synonymous with Christmas celebrations in the 19th century, and the rise of tin cookie cutters made it easy for common households to create beautiful ornaments and decorations from the sweet.
However edible treats aren't the only use for this versatile classic, so as we celebrate National Gingerbread Day, here are four non-food ways to bring gingerbread into your seasonal decor.
What better way to greet holiday guests than with an endearing front door decoration? There are many interesting designs to choose from, both store-bought and handmade. Variations can include ones that focus on the baked goods element of gingerbread and feature cookie cutters, whisks and rolling pins. And for an added finishing touch, you could mix a print-out of your favorite gingerbread recipe among the embellishments.
Other styles that you might want to try could showcase either fabric gingerbread toys nestled among pinecones and evergreen boughs or colorful faux candies and ribbons swirled around a collection of wood or resin gingerbread men.
Garlands are a terrific way to quickly layer interest into a window display, garnish a tree or highlight a focal wall. The decorative strands can range from old-fashioned, country designs to cheerful, candy-style themes.
Your selection doesn't have to be limited to the store either. An eye-catching garland can be created out of simple items such as metal cookie cutters, rope twine and candy canes.
Seniors who grew up with the art of making paper dolls can draw on their memories and create playful chains. These novelty pieces also offer an interesting way to share a piece of the past and spend time with visiting grandchildren during the holiday season.
Ornaments, felt creations, gift tags and floral picks depicting gingerbread are just a few of the many ways you can adorn a tabletop display. These additions can add a little pizazz to a traditional greenery arrangement or be the basis of a themed bouquet.
A classic Christmas accent, gingerbread blends smoothly with antique and modern styles, and the faux cookies can be as intricate or rough-hewn as the setting requires.
Countless gingerbread-themed ornaments, tree toppers and tree skirts are available on the web and through local stores here in Fort Worth. However, because gingerbread is so popular, there are just as many tutorials and craft kits providing step-by-step instructions that you can follow to create your own ornaments. These projects can become a fun activity to complete with your friends here in our Bethesda Gardens community, and the finished baubles provide a memorable decoration you can keep or share as a gift.