A few years back my mom bought a gingerbread house kit on a lark and we collaborated in decorating it. This started a tradition not unlike the pumpkin carving that is a bit out of hand. This year she got a kit that had four little houses. I got one that I thought had three little houses but it turns out it was one big house (the box was deceiving, trust me). Then my husband, being helpful, got a Home Depot gingerbread kit.
Gamely, mom and I decided we were going all the way from the commercial district to the expensive house-on-the-hill. The first step is putting together the parts. Turns out the Home Depot one was the most difficult to do. The one I got came pre-assembled.
Putting together the houses. Mom cursed her son-in-law for buying the Home Depot kit.
The house I bought came pre-assembled. Winning!
Because my husband bought it, I was tasked with the Home Depot decorations. Let me tell you, that is a lot of orange frosting. And I was very skeptical that this would look like anything useful once done. Especially seeing it midway:
Fortunately, throughout the year we end up buying extra candies and such to add to our gingerbread houses. This saved me in the completion of the Home Depot. In fact, the tiny little necco wafers (at least, that’s what they looked like to me and mom) turned out to be pretty great as lights on the building. Or perhaps I was just pleased because dad brought us each margaritas.
In fact, I finished the Home Depot (or I was done with it, which has a slightly different connotation) while mom continued her work on the tasteful “house on the hill”. So I grabbed a small house and went to town with the tiny necco wafers. Fast and adorable.
Mom finally finished her big house. This had to be tasteful, because people in this size of house would pay a decorator. I rolled out yellow gumdrops for her to use as the windows. If you decide to do this, use sugar on the rolling pin and board to prevent sticking (or lessen it, anyway).
Mom is ridiculously good at the icicles. You’ll note the items I did do not have icicles.
We were tired of the process by this point so left the remaining three houses for a couple of days later. I had bought some cookie frosting so picked the house with a flat-ish roof so I could use it (very liquid, but then hardens). The tilt to the structure is on mom because she put it together. The fact that it looks like it’s staring at you is all my fault. We named it the “stalker house”.
Meanwhile mom did this adorable little house. She would prefer it if you just admire the roof and skip looking at anything else.
We had one left and collaborated. I picked a Denver Broncos color scheme and we went with it in a big way. It’s our favorite.
You have your reasons, we have ours.
Finally we had to put it all together into a scene. We have mirrors to be ponds and step-stones, little strands of lights, some old bits of garland made into trees…. and marauding polar bears.
My husband is no longer allowed to purchase a gingerbread kit unless he puts it together and decorates it himself. (this will not happen).
Merry Christmas! Stay out of the path of marauding polar bears!