Sharing Holiday Treats with the Animals, or a Use for Old Gingerbread Houses

The winter holidays have now passed.  My boys decorated gingerbread houses sometime in November, and since that time they’ve served as holiday decorations.  (You can read about all the reasons that making gingerbread houses are great learning fun HERE, and some things I learned as a parent HERE.)  At this point, the houses have sat around for a couple of months and we’re ready to let them go.


So what do you do with an old gingerbread house?  Well, some families would choose to eat them.  For our family with these particular houses, that was not an option.  My boys are allergic to some of the ingredients in these houses.  In addition, they contain some ingredients we do our best to avoid.  We made these gingerbread houses purely as art, not as food.  Other families may choose to compost their gingerbread houses.  And composting a house is a great way to feed the soil.  Either of these options will keep your house out of a landfill.


We chose to put our houses out for the animals to eat.  My boys had visions of deer, squirrels, raccoons, mice, voles, and the other critters that share our mountain habitat feasting on their gingerbread houses.  “Maybe it’ll be a party like in Bear Snores On,” my 4-year-old whispered to me after putting his house out in the yard, “Maybe all of the animals will have a party in our yard.”  It’s fun to imagine.


Well, we didn’t hear any party sounds after we put out the houses, but the next day the houses were all gone.  We can only assume that some animals enjoyed a mid-winter sweet treat as they feasted on our gingerbread houses.  It may not be as healthy as the pumpkins we shared with the squirrels, but it’s fun to offer a bit of our celebration to the animals with whom we share our little piece of the Rockies.

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