Tinsel, baubles, wreaths, fairy lights, Father Christmases, snow-covered trees, singing Rudolphs, little wooden nativity scenes, chocolate advent calendars and glitter galore – there’s not much further we can take Christmas decorations as a human race, is there?
What could possibly make all of that sparkly, singing, dancing festive magic all the more special? We can think of one way – if you could EAT it. After all, food makes everything better, and Christmas is all about the grub.
Now, we don’t want you to end up in a situation whereby you’ve got no Christmas decs left at all and a serious case of poisoning. But there’s something about picking a bauble off your tree and eating it, knowing that this is perfectly fine and that you won’t end up with a severe stomach ache, that will leave you feeling incredibly smug and like a festive genius.
Our ideas below will all look and taste great, and you can try them out during Christmas craft time with the kids without having to get the glitter out at all. Bin that glitter instead and rejoice in the fact you won’t have to spend the next five years finding it under everything. Sure, the kids might end up on a sugar high, but that’s a small price to pay for zero glitter.
Homemade candy canes
Red and white-striped candy canes look oh so cute contrasting against the green branches of a Christmas tree. The shop-bought kind can sometimes have an overwhelming taste of peppermint though and a powdery texture when you bite into them rather than the sticky sweet candy with a hint of mint you really want.
But by making your own, you can control just how much peppermint flavouring goes in there – you could even leave it out or swap it for vanilla if you really wanted to go wild. Check out Poet in the Pantry’s recipe for how to make these to decorate your tree or to give as sweet gifts if you want your friends to feel like Glen Coco in Mean Girls.
Marzipan tree decorations
When it comes to icing your Christmas cake, you might prefer to keep it a simple affair with plain white icing and maybe just a spritz of edible glitter. Or you might want to go all out with models of snowmen, penguins and Santa and his eight reindeer – we definitely didn’t just have to Google how many there were…
Either way, you’ll need a layer of marzipan underneath your icing to keep it in place and looking as smooth as Glen Coco.
We know it’s ridiculously tempting to put any offcuts of marzipan straight in your mouth – or the bin, if you’re the kind of grinch who hates delicious sugary almond paste. But if you save your offcuts, you can soon have extra edible decorations for your tree.
Use Christmas-themed biscuit cutters to cut out festive shapes and use a blunt knife to make a small hole in the top of each one. Leave the marzipan to dry out until it becomes a tad harder and thread some ribbon to match your decorations colour scheme through the little hole. Add to your tree and see how long they last before being scoffed.
Festive iced biscuit bunting
Bunting looks adorable at any time of year, but when it’s a string of festive gingerbread men or little smiling Santas strung up, it’s even cuter. The only thing that can make bunting even more enjoyable is if it’s edible.
Biscuit bunting isn’t something you can have out all through December, as it’ll go stale/get eaten, but it’s a super-sweet (in every sense of the word) decoration to add to your Christmas dinner table or to leave out alongside the compulsory carrot/mince pie/sherry for Santa and Rudolph.
You need a sturdy biscuit to string up with a ribbon, any old biccie won’t do. What Kate Baked has a recipe for iced almond-flavoured bunting biscuits that would work well – swap her pink and white icing for a mix of green, red and white for a more festive feel. If you’re handy with a piping bag, add a few snowflakes and some of those little edible silver balls too. You could even turn the classic triangles into Christmas trees with some clever cookie cutter action.
Christmas tree made of fruit
We know what you’re thinking: “Why on earth would I want a Christmas tree made from fruit?!”
We’re not suggesting you should have this instead of your main tree, but simply as an extra festive addition to your dinner table on Christmas Day. It’ll look fab, you can eat it and no harm will be caused to your actual Christmas tree – that’s why you’d want one made from fruit.
Pinch of Nom has easy-to-follow instructions for how to make your own – you’ll need a few craft supplies, but give them a wipe down afterwards and they should be fine to use for future Christmases too.
Ultimate gingerbread house
If you look at the story of Hansel and Gretel from a certain angle, you could argue that the witch was perfectly justified in punishing the children for eating her house – she just took things a little bit too far, and we’re not condoning that at all.
Her house was spectacular though, with gingerbread walls, icing roof tiles and added cakes and biscuits covering it all over. And in a bizarre festive tradition, people like to recreate versions of the witch’s house at Christmas.
You could make a miniature version of a gingerbread house out of standard-sized biscuits, or you could go all out and make a big house with stained glass (melted boiled sweet) windows and intricate icing decoration. Follow Baking a Mess’ recipe if you need some inspiration to get started.
Just remember that banning the kids from their Xbox is a more reasonable punishment than the witch’s if they do end up nibbling it.
Edible Christmas decorations also make brilliant gifts and will look beautifully festive wrapped in cellophane tied with red, green and gold ribbon, so get creative and try not to eat too much of it yourself…