I had the brilliant idea to build a gingerbread house this year. The last time I did this, I was a little kid. My previous Christmas's have been a whirlwind of activity (and holding down two or more jobs) so I decided this year I would leisurely and creatively build a house from a kit.
Most. Stressful. Decision. Ever.
To save money because I'm always looking to cut corners and save a few bucks, I bought a traditional kit (translation: my gluten and dairy free home was welcoming a potentially dangerous guest.) I was not going to actually eat something that was sitting out for several weeks (even though the kit DID say the house is only 44 servings!?!). When I read the instructions and saw that I was supposed to cut the cookie pieces to size, I nearly had a heart attack. There was no way gluten was going anywhere near my knives or cutting board. It was bad enough that I had to mix the frosting myself (which really isn't a big deal - my dairy reactions come only from consuming - my gluten reactions, on the other hand, really are from that pesky parts-per-million cross-contamination). I did the ultimate cheat: I decided that my house was going to be held together by hot glue so I did not have to worry about the pieces not fitting together exactly. This also saved me hours of "wait for the frosting to harden before adding the next pieces" game. The royal icing was a royal pain to work with. I'm happy the roof even got covered. By then, the joy of making the house was completely gone and I was not even looking forward to the prospect of decorating it (with the hot glue gun, of course).The gingerbread house is my most pitiful arts and crafts project ever. I was working on my crafting cookie sheets (in my former life I was a prop designer - I have cookie sheets that never touch food) covered in tin foil over several newspapers. When I was finished, I disinfected the hot glue gun and scissors and really cleaned the table and floor. Was it worth it? The smell of the gingerbread is nice. But next year, I think I'll just buy a scented candle.