How Not to Build a Gingerbread House

My sister and I never really made a real gingerbread house when we were kids. Now, as adults, we've found that maybe it's a little too late for us to catch up.



I'm really excited.

I've been more than ready for Christmas since before Halloween got here. I blame it on the 30-something-degree temperatures that smacked me in the face in late October (thanks, Michigan, I get it), but I refuse to be pushed around. It got cold, I was forced to bring out the scarf and gloves, and thus felt compelled to buy presents for people. It's all good. Well, I've actually barely started my shopping, but hey--at least my tree is up.

I actually kicked off Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend while I was home with my family in Virginia. It all started when I was reading a Black Friday flyer for The Home Depot.

Me (to my sister): "Look at this gingerbread house! It's so cute . . . it even has a little Home Depot guy!

My sister (being difficult): *Long stare* *Hides face to pretend she's not interested* *Smiles in silent admittance that she loves the Home Depot gingerbread house, too*

Fast-forward to the next day . . . I'm at The Home Depot with my parents, and my sister's off somewhere getting tires put on her car. She's been talking about leaving town early to beat holiday traffic, but I will not let that stand. I find the best gingerbread house ever on a shelf near the registers, snap a picture, and send it to her with the words, "If you stay tonight, I will buy this for us to make."

Her response: "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YES!!!"

Later that night, we sit down to assemble this fine work of art. Growing up, we never really put together a real gingerbread house, but I figured that if people do this every day, two twenty-somethings should be able to figure out how to stick some cookies together with frosting. And that's where the real work began.

Guys, making a gingerbread house is really hard. When you open a pre-made kit, the cookies are bent to the point of almost breaking, the candy is stale, and the frosting sticks about as well as semi-malleable plastic. We soon learned that our creation might not turn out quite like the picture on the box, and craft time quickly turned into a Kindergarten project gone horribly wrong.

I felt kind of bad for my mom, because the whole process was kind of reminiscent of being seven years old and not knowing how to build your own solar system. When my sister and I became useless, my mom took over. And we watched. And no one really wanted to decorate the gingerbread house any more.

There was a lot of laughing going on at the kitchen table that night, but somehow we finished. Kind of. Well, really, we had done all we could to make the ugly even uglier, so we accepted our mediocrity and gracefully resigned our efforts for the evening. The eight dollars I spent on the kit? Totally worth the amount of anguish/fun we experienced.

And in the end, I fixed our little mess the best way I knew how . . . I put a bird on it.

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