What’s Christmas without gingerbread?

From the 1812 Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel to the 21st century Shrek films, gingerbread men have been popularized far beyond the sweet traditional Christmastime treat. Spice things up at your next holiday party, and share some of these fun facts about the gingerbread man!

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– We can thank all thank Queen Elizabeth I for coming up with the little spicy fellows’ figures. The gingerbread man’s shape was first formed into people-like figures in the 16th century. According to the story, the Queen had gingerbread cookies made and decorated to look like her favorite courtiers and then had the cookies presented to them.

– “Sweet Gingerbread Man” was a 1971 popular song first heard in the film The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart, performed by the Mike Curb Congregation.

– The Gingerbread Men were featured in the “Don Knotts” episode of The Muppet Show. The Gingerbread Men sing the song “Sweet Gingerbread Man” as the opening number, while the lead Gingerbread Man was a Hand-Rod Muppet performed by Frank Oz and the full-bodied Gingerbread Men were performed by Jim Henson, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson.

– Smithville, Texas was home to the world’s largest gingerbread man! He made his debut on December 2, 2006, at the 16th Annual Festival of Lights celebration. Otherwise known as “The G-Man,” this Guinness World Record cookie weighed in at a daunting 1,308 lbs, 8 oz. and stood 20 ft. from head-to-toe.

– Clearly The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota felt the need to accommodate such a colossal cookie when Roger A. Pelcher created the blueprints for The World’s Largest Gingerbread House. In 2006, Pelcher built the massive gingerbread house standing at 67 feet tall—surpassing his previous record of 57 feet. Other embellishments included 1,800 Hershey chocolate bars, 1,200 feet of Twizzlers, 100 pounds of large-sized Tootsie Rolls, 300 pounds of large-sized DOTS, and 100 pounds each of Brach’s Star Brites Mix, Holiday Mix, Crimp Ribbon, Christmas Spicettes and Christmas Nougats.

Pick up all of your gingerbread man supplies at your local Sparkle Market today! And share all these fun facts while you’re baking this classic holiday treat! Happy decorating!