Why We Don’t Decorate Gingerbread Houses

Dear Children,

One day when you’re older, I have no doubt that you’re going to ask why we never participated in the tradition of decorating a gingerbread house. So I write you this letter to explain myself.

You see, in 2012 when you were 5, 3 and 1, I did attempt to create a gingerbread house. I saw this picture, and I knew that I could easily do the same:

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I was hesitant to attempt to bake the gingerbread myself, so I bought a handly little gingerbread house kit. You were all so excited. And I was too!

But several things went wrong when I tried to follow the instructions.

First of all, the frosting that came with the kit broke my beaters.

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Seriously – it was so stiff, that my beaters broke.

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I should have stopped then, but your sweet little faces were just so excited about this gingerbread house. So I tried my very best to move forward. But the darn walls kept falling down.

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But I didn’t let that stop me. Nope – I just grabbed the hot glue gun and started building.

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And then I realized that I didn’t have much candy to actually decorate the house with. Stupid kit. You would have thought that was included.

So I gave you pretzels and a few M&Ms.

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After it was all said and done, this is what you two came up with.

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And you were so proud, that we had to keep it on display for an entire week.

Until one morning, we woke up and Big Hairy Dog had eaten it.

At least that’s what we told you. Really I threw it in the trash can outside.

So – kids – THAT is why we don’t decorate gingerbread houses.

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31 comments on “Why We Don’t Decorate Gingerbread Houses

  1. Oh, my goodness! Your mixer broke? How awful! But at least it looks like the kids enjoyed the project. :) We made our very first ever gingerbread house this year, too. I cheated horribly. I got a kit that came with everything, including ready to use icing in a bag… But it was fun! Love your stories- found your blog a month or so ago, and had to read all of the archives. :) Merry Christmas to you all!

  2. We've been building gingerbread houses for 10 years and we still run into epic fail moments. It's turned into a tradition for us and it's all about the family time, laughs and memories. Good job for not letting the obstacles prevent you from having a good time. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Seriously – a GLUE GUN? Is this allowed? I thought when I began reading that the first picture was YOUR finished gingerbread house – laughed outloud when I read on and got to see the real pictures…pretzels were also rather innovative….well done! (and thanks for the laugh!) Merry Christmas!

  4. OMG I just wet my pants. I am crafty, bordering on professional crafty, but the G^*&)(* D$^&%&^T gingerbread house is something that I haven't been able to master either. Though I never broke my mixer- that take the prize- I have ended up with the messy, unmatched edges and a hot mess. A few years ago I got smart and Michael's sold a plastic yet realistic Faux Gingerbread house and ephemera- which added up $$$ pretty quickly I might add. I bought all the fake peppermints, faux necco wafers, and artificial snow and headed home. The problem? No matter what type of glue I used that stupid thing would not stick together. While I stopped short of using Epoxy and just filed the stupid thing in the vertical file (trash), I used about every other adhesive I owned before I gave up.

    last year I bought a gingerbread pan to bake the perfect sized walls and frankly I don't have the courage to use it. Maybe I will and if it works I will let you know.

    OMG I am going to keep laughing about this all day. You are fast becoming my favorite blogger. Want to see another blogger who tells the truth? Check out my blog rainingjellybeans.blogspot.com and scroll to December 2010 to see what my kitchen table looked like- I had used it for crafting and it was a mess to end all messes and yes I posted pictures.

    I'm am still being hit with the giggles…

  5. And…if it is covered with candy then it will turn out just fine in the end :-)

  6. I knew when I saw the broken mixer and then the glue gun things were going down hill and not as planned, have a wonderful Merry Christmas, xoxo (Aunt) Patty

  7. Life is the journey not the destination! I used the glue gun too!!!

  8. Wish I'd read this before I went to the grocery store today. I succumbed to a sale and bought a gingerbread TRAIN kit for $2. I read another blog that said she buys the kits after Christmas and freezes them until next year. I'm planning to do the same thing. I'll try to remember to let you know how it turns out. (Yeah, like that's going to happen.)

  9. It can be so hard to enjoy something that seems to be going horribly wrong, but yes yes it should be enjoyable because it really is fun. Such a funny post. Thank you for sharing!

  10. That's funny. I had my own disaster last week. Thanks for sharing, next time I'm going to use the glue gun.

  11. Ohhh, does this bring back memories of candy sliding off the roof of the Gingerbread house as my husband and I are trying to hold on to everything until it dries and the kids are yelling, Don't ruin it!

    Great story!

  12. LOVE this!! And I love that you used a hot glue gun to fix the house.

    I can definitely relate to every one of these lessons… kind of wish I'd written this post :-)

  13. LOL – they look like they are having fun though! Ours didn’t turn out too great either. I wish I had my cousin’s tutorial (posted on my blog today) before I had attempted to make one. But as long as it tastes good, I think that is all the kids care about.

  14. LOL!

    You crack me up Anna. Love the house and the look of sheer joy on your kids’ faces. That’s what it’s all about.

    Madison xxx

  15. This absolutely cracked me up! I love that you had a great memory building experience with the children. Thank you for the perk-me-up on my Christmas Day!

  16. too funny. also? still looks better than our creation, which closely resembled a condemned shack – only worse.

  17. Haha! I love you brought out the glue gun! I left the gingerbread house making to my husband this year and they actually did quite a nice job. Target has $10 kits that INCLUDES candy- I say you give it anothe go next year!

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  18. Although my son isn’t old enough to attempt a gingerbread house, I don’t know that we ever will. I remember my skills, or lack of, when I was younger and it was a nightmare. They look good in theory, but not when you actually put the theory to test.

  19. I don’t think I ever made a gingerbread house and I’m totally fine with that. I’ve always thought they were pretty dumb and who wants something like that sitting around collecting dust and then you know you shouldn’t eat it after it’s collected all that dust. They do nothing for me. I cannot believe your beaters literally broke like that! I figured you just burned up the motor!

  20. LOL. Sometimes it’s not about the outcome, it’s the process.

    I can guarantee that gingerbread house will be a Christmas memory your children will always look back on.

  21. Funny, and so true… but wait a few years and u can do it! Mine are 9 and 6 and this year it was rather enjoyable! My husband actually helped some and one did a train and one did a house. I buy the kits after Christmas and save $$$. The ones w/ icing seem to do the best.

  22. Not to be a grinch, but It’s not clear to me why this is funny. You are focusing on the results rather than the process – are you sure this is the message you want to send your kid(s)? If you can’t do something perfectly, then don’t even try at all? We’ve made gingerbread houses pretty much every year, none of which would win any beauty contests. However, the process of doing them together has been precious, and my daughter has always been proud of the results of her efforts (as have I). I consider that a win.