Call for help, I am stuck to the countertop.

We have no fewer than five Advent calendars in the house.  Two are Kinder chocolate ones, sent by my mother-in-law, one is a cloth one that is utilized only as a calendar and not as something particularly fun, one is a Star Wars Lego calendar which has led me to realize after a conversation with Hannah that I do not actually know anything at all about Star Wars other than Chewbacca is a Wookie, and one is this cute little thing:

Every day I fill it with little chocolate coins or kisses, and also a note about the festive activity that we will partake in today.  I got the idea about festive activities from this post by Lynn – I read it and thought it was brilliant!  I felt all warm and fuzzy, thinking about my children squealing with delight as they read the note about what today would bring.  Unfortunately, since we had the tree and all decorations up prior to December 1st, and also since I apparently have zero imagination, and also since the kids are in school five days a week, my actual holiday activities have been pretty lame.  Don’t get me wrong, the kids are still happy to read a book about Christmas, go sledding, and watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special, but those things, along with making three Christmas cards, have been in the rotation since the month began.  But!  On Sunday I remembered we have an actual bona fide activity to do – our annual decorating of our (fugly) gingerbread house.

Since my very good friend Tara turned me on to pre-built gingerbread houses, I have never and I will never go back to the build-it-yourself kind.  I also will never allow the children to consume this gingerbread house.  Ack.  For all I know that gingerbread and candy have been around since the Iran-Contra affair.  I will be posting my own recipe for gingerbread people over on the cooking blog soon. 

Spoiler alert!  Our house looks nothing like the package. 

So here’s how one decorates a gingerbread house in the Boyhouse:

First, gather together two very stoked children who are delighting in their mother’s idea of notes in the Advent calendar.

Start applying icing to the roof, only to discover there is a hole in the bag.  Get icing all over sleeve.  Decide to cap the icing bag and use the hole to apply icing. 

Find out that this uses up a lot of icing, and there is no way to decorate the whole house.  Whatever.  Just start throwing the damn candies on there.

Meanwhile, if one is the canine member of the family, sit at attention and wait for those rock hard little candies to roll off the counter.  Consume them rapidly, then fly around the house as if crack cocaine, instead, has been consumed.

If one is still bitter about Santa, the reindeer, and their poor treatment of Rudolph, then one can devise evil ways to burn Santa and his reindeer up by a) creating a firepit outside the door to be stepped in by Santa, and b) sprinkling red sugar on the roof to symbolize the flames that will burn the reindeer’s hooves when they land on said roof.  Not to worry.  The gingerbread inhabitants and the rest of the world will be just fine.  This is special fire only to target Santa and the reindeer – and possibly anyone else who may be stupid enough and/or lacking in the Christmas spirit to make fun of poor red-nosed Rudolph.  Suggestions that burning up Santa is not exactly the Christmas spirit will fall on deaf ears. 

I don’t know whether to applaud Jake for his creativity and his willingness to stand up to the poor bullied Rudolph, or to be completely appalled by his arsonist ideas.  Let’s just say I’m somewhere in the middle here.

Finally, after all the candies, sprinkles, and shredded coconut have been un-artistically applied, admire final product:

Please to note the icing on my shirt.  That shit is sticky.

You want a close up of the house?

And there you have it.  Another glorious work of gingerbread art by the people of the Boyhouse. 


  1. Love it! They did a great job. We are doing this activity on Friday and we’ve never done it before. I will be sure to wear an old shirt (and maybe make the kids wear garbage bags, CLASSY).

    I also love your little advent calendar with the doors. After all the work I put into making one, the Superstore has one almost exactly like yours with the little red doors this year and I just love it. Surely we have a need for more than one advent calendar around here?

  2. Your house is CUTE! I hate royal icing. Because — as you note — it’s sticky AND it tastes bad. WHY DOES IT TASTE SO BAD?! It’s very wrong.

  3. Thanks for spreading it to all of your readers that vast chunks of my brain are taken up with Star Wars trivia. Because I’m SO VERY PROUD of that. (Damn kids.)

    We’re making our gingerbread house this week. I bought one of the not pre-built kind. I’m not sure what I was thinking.

    Also, snaps for the Iran-Contra reference. Nicely done.

  4. That’s awesome, I think it looks great!
    Hope the canine companion has recovered from his crack cocaine weekend.

  5. Wait, what? There are prebuilt gingerbread houses? As in ones I don’t have to fight with the god damned “icing” (cement?) to put together? I have got to look in to that. My one attempt at building a gingerbread house was hilariously terrible/frustrating for all involved.

  6. I thought about getting one of those. You make it look fun. I’m sure that ours would end in someone crying for their moms and that would be me.

  7. I can see why you are in the middle on that. Nice looking house. We just like eating the candy.

    And yes, that is our backyard. The front yard looks out into the lake.


  8. So they’re easy to assemble? Can’t tell you how many times I have lifted up one of those gingerbread house kits and then had the words, “It’ll be a disaster! It’ll end in tears!” go through my head. Maybe I will try it with the kids sometime after all.

    Maybe next year…

  9. I LOVE prebuilts! Kids are thrilled to be covered with goo and toxic candy and I just stand back and drink wine. A win-win. Your house looks great. Glad someone is thinking of Rudolf and his difficult fawn-hood.


  1. […] not to make something decent out of that much pre-fabricated festivity, I invite you to see the house from 2011. But look at this year’s offerings! I am going to admit that this is the year that I have had […]

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