Gingerbread Houses

Warning! This post is insanely picture-heavy!

For over 25 years now (almost 30!), my family has made a gingerbread house every year for Christmas. We started in 1985 when I was just 2 years old, and continued since then, only missing 2 years- 1988 when my sister was born and 2002 when we went to Walt Disney World for Christmas.
These aren’t your normal every day “kit” gingerbread houses either (not that I’m knocking them!)- each year my mom and I pour over gingerbread books and magazines (and in recent years, websites and Pinterest) for ideas and themes. We then pick a design and her and my dad draft the plans for it. We then spend nearly an entire day making the dough, rolling it out, baking, trimming and all that jazz. The gingerbread then needs to set for a few days to fully harden to make the sturdiest house possible. Our designs differ every year – we’ve had A-frames, churches and chalets, chimneys, curtains and 3D bow windows, and in recent years we even began to light them up from the inside!
Part of our tradition is that we bake two houses- one for ourselves, and one for another family. We pick a different family every year to come over and decorate with us.
This is the first year that I’m not going to be home for the holidays, but you can bet that I’ll still be carrying on our tradition with my husband! In anticipation for our decorating party this weekend, I thought I’d share the past 29 years of gingerbread!

(PS- if you love old pictures- this post is for you- at least half of them are scanned in from film!  You can tell when I started to get into photography in 2006ish– the pictures begin to really look good then!)

If anything, I hope this post gives you some ideas for your house this year- maybe it was how we used different cereal for our roof, or the different materials we’ve used for shutters or pathways or even fencing each year! Which house is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!  If we inspired you, I’d love to see what you come up with- leave me a comment or post it on my wall on Facebook. If you’re on Instagram, follow me @SewIn2Disney and tag me in your picture so I can see it! Don’t forget to use hashtag #handmadeisbetter !

Without further adu- our houses…through the years!

1985
1985

1986
1986

1987
1987

1989
1989

1989
1989 -2

1990
1990

1990 – Look at that concentration!
1990 -1

1991
1991 -2

1992
1992

1992
1992 -2

1993
1993

1993
1993 -2

1993
1993 -3

1994 – I’d love to know why I look so annoyed! I know this has nothing to do with our gingerbread but it was too funny not to share!
1994

1994
1994 -2

1995
1995

1995
1995 -2

1995
1995 -3

1996 – this year we did a log cabin using pretzel rods
1996

1996
1996 -2

1996
1996 -3

1997
1997

1997
1997 -2

1997
1997 -3

1998
1998

1998
1998 -2

1999
1999

1999
1999 -2

1999
1999 -3

2000
2000

2000
2000 -1

2000
2000 -3

2000
2000 -4

2000
2000 -5

2001
2001

2001
2001-2

2002 – This is the year we went to Disney.  While we didn’t make our own gingerbread we did visit their life-size gingerbread creations!
2002

2002
2002 -1

2003
2003

2003
2003 -2

2003
2003 -3

2004
2004

2004
2004 -2

2004
2004 -3

2005
2005

2005
2005 -2

2005 – Yes, that’s a monorail running through our gingerbread yard!
2005 -3

2005
2005 -4

2006
2006

2007

2006 -3

2008
2007

2008 – This is the best picture of how we lit them up
2007 -2

2008 – This was my first year teaching and these are some houses I made with my students.
2008

2008 – we also were super busy this year so we made an igloo instead
2008 -2

2008
2008 -3

2009 – tsk tsk – we resorted to a kit this year….
2009

2009
2009 -2

2010
2010

2010
2010 -2

2010
2010 -3

2010 – This was the first year I designed my own “house” all by myself- I made a Tiki hut!
2010 -4

2010
2010 -5

2010
2010 -6

2011
2011

2011
2011 -1

2012
2013

2012
2013 -2

2012
2013 -3

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5 thoughts on “Gingerbread Houses

  1. Angela

    I could never pick a favorite! They are all so creative. What a special memory to have through all these years. 2005 – great roof and monorail; 2008 also awesome and 2012 love the Bokeh. Cannot wait to see 2013 Dana. Enjoy!

    Reply
  2. Jane Krychiw

    Dana this was such a wonderful journey That You shared With All Of Us. Thx Soo Much For This Special Treat. (Don’t Know Y My Phone Is Capitalizing)

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Gingerbread: 2013 |

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