What better way is there to share the love and calories of this holiday season than by making easy, DIY, no-bake, gingerbread houses?

This time of year I struggle with two major questions: What am I going to buy for my friends and family this holiday season, and what the heck am I going to do with my friends and family when I am (forced into?) spending time with them?

Without putting too much though or energy into it, I found the answer: Easy No-Bake Vegan Gingerbread Houses!

Hear me out….

I went back and forth a few times trying to decide what type of content to produce these last few weeks of the year, as we plow head-first into the holiday season. What do people want? Where are people struggling, and how can I help them get through this time of year? Do they need recipes, or advice, or my list of must-have items?

And aren’t the holidays the worst time if you’re just transitioning to a vegan or plant-based lifestyle? The questions… The fuss… The stress that other people make it seem like you’re causing them….

As a content creator, sometimes I overthink the concepts I want to explore on my channel. I think about what recipes I want to share, and sometimes in doing that, I miss opportunities for sharing my daily life and experiences with people that could actually be more beneficial to my audience as they begin or continue their vegan journey.

So, what do people really need? They need to feel included, like they can contribute, and like they can still enjoy quality time with their friends and family while remaining true to their vegan values.

This video started out as just a fun challenge between Ben and I, but as we were filming and creating our edible works of art, I was instantly reminded of the joy that comes along with just making a mess and having a good time with people that you love.

I spent $30 total on ingredients, and although I got a bit ambitious with the candy decorations, that $30 could have entertained at least 2 to 3 more people. We set a time limit for filming and competition purposes, but in the end, we both lamented the fact that we had to stop working when the clock stopped. We could easily have gone another 30 minutes. And we’re just two guys in our 30s.

With just a collection of easily obtained (I purchased everything at Target except the Duncan Hines frosting) junk foods, we were instantly transported back to childhood, full of the holiday spirit; snacking on candy as we constructed our confectionary masterpieces.

Whether you show up on someone’s doorstep with a bag full of graham cracker and candy, or whether you construct a kit and give it out as a gift, you’ll be surprised with just how much joy you can share.

Graham cracker gingerbread houses aren’t a new thing, by any stretch, but by paying attention to the items that you include in your kit, you can have a sense of pride in the fact that all of the items are cruelty free, and they align with your vegan values.

I probably spend a good twenty minutes Googling and choosing items that were accidentally vegan. I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Here’s what I found:

  • Nabisco Grahams (The red box does not contain honey)
  • Duncan Hines (Home-Style frostings are vegan)
  • Oreos. Any flavor or color.
  • Sour Patch Kids (all Sour Patch shapes)
  • Smarties
  • Swedish Fish (Tropical)
  • Lemonheads
  • Airheads
  • Market Pantry Cinnamon Imperials (Target’s Red Hots)
  • Skittles
  • Peppermint candies
  • Twizzlers

I’m sure there are more items that are available at other stores that are accidentally vegan as well, but this is what was available to me at the time.

If you and yours decided to make these Easy No-Bake Vegan Gingerbread Houses this holiday season, please share your creations with me on instagram my using the hashtag #monsonmadethis.