Every year in December we have a Davis family gingerbread house contest. I’ve been doing it my whole life and it is one of my favorite traditions. When we were young it was just gingerbread house making but we’ve expanded it to a full blown competition with cash prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
I thought the entries this year were pretty good in spite of the contest being a bit more casual this time. The competition has been a little more stiff in the past. It will never be forgotten the year that my Dad had kinda had it with the gingerbread contest and so to be funny took his nearly finished house, put it on a stool and sat on it. You read that right. He just sat right down and smashed it to smithereens. It was pretty funny. For about 5 years running after that he sat on his house every year at the end of the night. The grandkids loved it.
I am proud to announce that this year Mitchell and I won 3rd place which I felt was reasonably good considering I am pretty much on my own because Mitchell isn’t really the “crafty type” as he says. But he is very supportive in my efforts and makes sure the kids don’t overdose on three year old candy, which is definitely an important contribution to our team.
We’ve had various rules over the years but this time was spouses on a team with no pre-existing structures, anything edible is free game with a few non-edibles allowed as needed. My Mom has a bin of weird old candy that she has saved from years past and then we have to provide anything special we want to use. She calls various neighbors to come judge, which is a lot of pressure for them cause people will let you know if they feel you made the wrong decision.
Graham crackers and glue guns are easiest for the structures. We used to use melted sugar but if it gets on your skin it can severely burn you so I don’t recommend it. We had a few disasters that made us realize that was probably a bad idea.
So here are your entries for 2018….
# 1. Christmas Catastrophe
I wish I had gotten better pictures of this one but I thought it was really cute. My brother-in-law Jon, and my nephew Will were the main ones who made this one. That is Santa upside down in the chimney.
#2 Rudolph’s House
This was my Mom’s house. She had little figures of Rudolph and Santa but I think some kids maybe ate them off or something before I got a picture of it.
#3 Christmas in the Bayou
My sister-in-law Becky and my niece Emma were the main builders of this one. Becky’s parents are Mission Presidents in Louisiana right now so they thought of doing a Santa with crocodiles and little crawfish in the mud. I think this one was my favorite this year.
#4 Blue Christmas House
This was Thayne & Emily’s house which I think turned out really great. I love the blue gum siding.
#5 Christmas Cottage
This is Mindy & Dan’s little house. I really liked this one too. The roof is out of fruit leather and the garland's are Wasabi peas with ice cream cone trees around the house.
#6 Old Church Town Square
This was our obviously wonderful old church. Some questioned if this should have won 3rd place. I admit I myself was a little surprised ; ) Ha ha Perhaps not my best year but the almond roof and overall construction I felt pretty good about.
I originally had a conglomerate of graham crackers iced in green frosting that were piled as tall as the church but Mitchell called an audible the last minute which saved our cause. I also only just noticed that somehow Becky’s candy crocodiles wandered onto the scene. That was not part of the original entry but I think it’s a nice touch.
#7 The Lighthouse
I really liked Taylor & Sara’s lighthouse and kinda thought it probably should’ve won 3rd instead of ours. My Mom was talking trash and asked if it was a life guard tower. (If you know my Mom then you know that was a joke cause she’s not really the talk trash type. She’s more of the I-made-you-cookies type.)
I love all the details. Look at the herringbone path!
So there you have it. The gingerbread houses of 2018. I wish I was tricky and could figure out how to do a survey here to see what you would’ve voted for or could write the answers upside down in the corner like on the cereal boxes. Next year I guess…
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
3rd Place- The Old Church!
2nd Place - The Christmas Cottage!
1st Place - Christmas In The Bayou!
And there you have it folks. Cash prizes to the winners.
I tried to find some pictures of the entries from years past to show you cause we’ve had some cool ones but while I was on my parent’s computer looking for pictures, Cal was chasing Howard around (that is my parent’s dog, not a human) and nailed his head on a table and we had to go get stitches so… better luck next time I guess. Just know that we’ve done the St Louis Arch, a Swiss chalet, a Christmas living room, big trees out of pretzels, indoor lighting, the north pole, a giant house made entirely of melted jolly ranchers… let’s just say we’ve tried a lot of things.
Hopefully this gives you a little bit of gingerbread house inspiration for your own candy creations. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Merry Christmas from the 3rd place little Christmas town!