{candy wonderland} Gingerbread Christmas Cabana – This Year, Santa’s in the Southern Hemisphere!

Christmas is almost here! Yay. That means it’s gingerbread time. Every year we have a theme party, which last year resulted in the Gingerbread Casbah. This year the theme is “Christmas in Summer” so we took Santa to the Southern Hemisphere with a Gingerbread Christmas cabana!

This is what I picture Santa doing the day after Christmas… parking his sleigh somewhere tropical and hopping in the pool with a frosty beverage.

Seeing as he’s Kris Kringle and all, it makes perfect sense that he’d opt for a resort that features Twizzler tiles and a sour belt lawn chair.

We got pretty carried away with the setting! The bar is one of my favorite parts, actually. The Christmas lights, constructed by my detail-oriented sister Marghi, and the bar stool by MJ, are too too divine!

MJ also worked out a highly realistic beach-side firepit.

The lush tropical garden is another highlight! Amazing how sour straws can make grass, foliage, palm leaves, and so forth. Radha lovingly formed each blade of grass by hand. Marghi rocked the teeny tiny birds of paradise.

In my opinion, crushed jolly ranchers (or lifesavers) are the unsung heroes of many a good gingerbread extravaganza. They add body and texture to your garden. And sprinkles! Don’t forget them as a finishing touch.

The jolly ranchers, melted, also make the cabana’s candy windows. The cabana has a triscuit and banana chip roof. There were some structural issues pointed out by self-proclaimed “editing eye” Roberto that were helped out with some Pepperidge Farms pirouette cookies. He also crushed a lot of sand for us. You might be surprised to know that 7-year-old Mitra provided the perfect keystone piece to hold up the whole roof! Luckily Radha and Marghi were constructionist queens and got the whole thing standing up and solid.

Lots of happy little fishies in the candy sea. Wouldn’t you be happy in a candy sea?!?

Merry Christmas Santa! Hope you enjoy the tropics this year.

Here’s the breakdown of what’s what:

  • Cabana windows: crushed jolly ranchers baked into the gingerbread
  • Cabana curtains: rainbow sour belts
  • Cabana roof: triscuits and banana chips
  • Christmas lights: licorice wheel and jujubes
  • Swimming pool: crushed jolly ranchers baked into the gingerbread
  • Pool tile floor: twizzler pieces
  • Pool steps: Kit Kats
  • Palm trees: pirouette cookies and sour straws
  • Lawn chair: Kit Kats and rainbow sour belts
  • Bar: gingerbread, triscuits, banana chips, white chocolate covered pretzels, gummy coke bottles
  • Bar stool: white chocolate covered pretzel with gummy peaches
  • Fire pit: licorice wheels, gingerbread logs, jolly ranchers, sour straws, Hershey’s oreo bites
  • Garden: sour straws, spearmint gummies, gummy frogs, Reese’s peanut butter cups, gummy peaches, Jelly Belly candy canes, Hershey’s oreo bites, crushed jolly ranchers
  • Rock edging: yogurt-covered raisins and Hershey’s oreo bites
  • Grass: sour straws
  • Sand: crushed triscuits, gingerbread, and yellow sprinkles
  • Sea: tic-tacs, Sno-Caps, Mounds bites, Mike & Ike’s tropical, Tootsie pop bites, crushed jolly ranchers, gummy clownfish, Swedish fish, green sprinkles

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10 Responses

  1. Fig says:

    Absolutely adorable and way the heck impressive. Santa looks like he just doesn’t know what to do with himself, he’s so happy.

  2. Mary Rothschild says:

    Wow! And I thought I did a great job with Maeve and a gingerbread kit! This is amazing! Bravo! Brava!

  3. Caroline says:

    Wow! And, here I am with my Trader Joe’s gingerbread house kit. Where did you find all the candies for your project? I think I’ll have to embellish my TJ’s kit house.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much, everyone! You are too kind. It’s a really fun tradition.
      @Caroline I got all the candy at Walgreen’s, but of course the next day I stopped at Party City and they had an even better selection plus you can get things there like only blue M&Ms and such- next year I will go there!

  4. eliza says:


  5. Lora says:

    This is fabulous. I love it. So creative,

  6. Wendy says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! Fantastic work!

  7. Dana says:

    How ornate! I’m impressed!

  8. Summer Rose says:

    The cutest and most beautiful gingerbread here!
    ☆♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.♪♫•*¨*•♫♪ ░M░E░R░R░Y░ (¯”•.¸*♥♥♥* ¸.•”¯) ░C░H░R░I░S░T░M░A░S░(¯”•.¸ *♥♥♥* ¸.•”¯) ! ♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪☆

  1. December 21, 2011

    […] And just for fun, a link to 3 inspired and extremely nifty gingerbread creations from a great blog called Off the (Meat) Hook. These will definitely make you smile: Jetson’s-esque “Gingerbread on the Moon“, “The Gingerbread Casbah” & “Gingerbread Christmas Cabana“. […]