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A Very Merry Christmas Contest

Gingerbread House

Submitted by: imavettegirl
Sacramento, CA

Outdoor Decorations

A lifesized Gingerbread House.

Tell Your Christmas Story

Thanks to my husband's hard work and creativity, our home is transformed each Christmas into a life-size Gingerbread House. It all started with our RED house. Who has a RED house? We do. Not the most popular house color. But that's what color it was when we bought it. Painting it was going to be one of our priorities. We didn't get around to that right away

We used to decorate with all white lights. Pretty, but kind of humdrum. So we decided to make our house look like a Gingerbread house, since it had the RED color going for it already. We got busy making everything by hand. The Graham cracker shutters (made from insulation material); the gingerbread couples in the yard (plywood, textured paint, glitter); the huge Candy Posts (made from carpet rolls); the Gingerbread cookies and Candies in the garden (made from door mats); the Hard Candy fence that surrounds the yard (made from Styrofoam food containers by the hundreds each individually wrapped in colored cellophane what a challenge!) and the - a Necco Wafer roof which my husband constructed by removing 25 lights at a time from 100 light strands and rearranging the colors so there would be 25 red, 25 blue, 25 pink 25 yellow ect., all in a row, and carefully positioning the lights in a loop formation to create a look of layered Necco Wafer candies. (I told you he was creative also a little crazy. It's a lot of work--there's about 1500 lights up there.) But everyone who comes by loves the Necco Roof, so it was worth the initial effort, and worth the work involved to replace the lights that fade every couple of years. That's what I tell my husband. It looks really cooleverybody tells him that.

Each year we add a little detail. A couple of years ago we decided to add snow to the flower beds and walkways and place lights underneath to illuminate it. (That's artificial snow, of course we don't get the real thing here in Sacramento.) It is beautiful!! It looks like white Icing on everything (got to have Icing on a Gingerbread House, of course.)

One of the neatest things about our Gingerbread House is that when trick-or-treaters come by on Halloween - adults and kids alike they all say they love the way we decorate the house for Halloween (yes, we do that, too) but they REALLY love what we do at Christmas, and they hope we're going to do it again this year because they have made it a family tradition to come by to visit The Gingerbread House, and the people who stop, all year around, just to say thank you for all our efforts and tell us how much they enjoy the House. It really keeps the pressure on. But, we're up to it so far.

Just last night we were in the yard adding some finishing touches and tinkering when a women stopped and said, "Your house is so beautiful." We thanked her for the complement, of course, and then she added "You know I had a really bad day today but seeing your house has made me happy." (Sappy, but true!) Though we were cold and tired, she made us happy, too. What a nice feeling to know we brought a little joy to someone's day, and she returned the favor with her comment. These are the things that make all the cold and late nights working in the yard well worth it . A special thanks to my husband for making our house a special place for me and others at Christmas.

Oh, about that RED house! This summer we finally got around to painting (16 years later!) Finally a chance to update the color. So we thought about other colors. And we thought about it some more. Then it dawned on us - what are we thinking about?!? This is the Gingerbread House! So it now sports a fresh coat of RED paint! It's not so bad, after all..

Merry Christmas and Sweet Dreams to everyone,

Tina and Steve Lord
Memphis and Roxy (our patient Boxers)