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Gingerbread Houses for Christmas Offer a Nice Way to Express Creativity

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Kathy is a freelance writer for Textbroker, Verblio, and Constant Content and published author in Neon Rainbow Magazine.

Some wonderful and one just silly examples of gingerbread houses

One of the neatest "gingerbread houses" I've ever seen, a gingerbread FARM! Complete with a cow, what could be better?

One of the neatest "gingerbread houses" I've ever seen, a gingerbread FARM! Complete with a cow, what could be better?

All I could say when I saw this one was "wow!"

All I could say when I saw this one was "wow!"

They can range from elaborate to traditional.

They can range from elaborate to traditional.

A more "traditional" style of gingerbread house. Probably the one most are familiar with.

A more "traditional" style of gingerbread house. Probably the one most are familiar with.

A carnival made of gingerbread!

A carnival made of gingerbread!

Really almost too pretty to eat!

Really almost too pretty to eat!

Ever hear that song "Lifestyles of the not so rich and famous, holes in all our socks, Ford Fairlane up on blocks?" Yep, this one reminds me of that song!  The "Redneck" gingerbread house!

Ever hear that song "Lifestyles of the not so rich and famous, holes in all our socks, Ford Fairlane up on blocks?" Yep, this one reminds me of that song! The "Redneck" gingerbread house!

The Elaborate To The Downright Funny!

There must be as many ways to make and design gingerbread houses for Christmas as there are to build and design real homes. The nice thing about the ones made of gingerbread, though, is the extra freedom one has to express themselves, and it is not a permanent thing. Once Christmas is over, a gingerbread house can be eaten and a new one can be made the next year!

I wasn't sure whether to categorize this hub as "food" or "Christmas decorations," so "Christmas decorations" it is! Making gingerbread is relatively easy, and molds can even be purchased so the gingerbread doesn't have to be cut into a house shape. Dough is simply baked in the mold. Modern day conveniences are just amazing these days! Some stores even feature ready made gingerbread house kits - simply "glue" pre-cut gingerbread pieces together with icing and decorate. Now we're talkin!

Other ways to make gingerbread houses involve the use of things like graham crackers, as you'll see in one of the pictures here... someone made a "redneck gingerbread house," a gingerbread trailer featuring a car on blocks in the front yard and a dirt driveway. Someone had a very creative mind, and perhaps a little too much time on their hands?

Some gingerbread houses range from elaborate, to a carnival made of gingerbread, to the more traditional style gingerbread house. Any way you want to make them, I don't think there really IS a wrong way! Freedom to express one's imagination and creativity is what it's all about! And the decorations can be made from just about any candy you can imagine, as you see in these pictures.

Another great place to get ideas and inspiration is to search on Pinterest. There you'll find ideas for creative and inspired ways to decorate gingerbread houses, as well as ways to create fun additions for your gingerbread landscape like Christmas trees, cute pathways or even yard decorations. Your imagination can take you to places you may have only dreamed of!


A Bit of Interesting Gingerbread House History

Gingerbread's earliest date goes back to the year 992 when it was brought to Europe by an Armenian Monk named Gregory of Nicopolis. He moved to France, and brought with him the knowledge of how to make gingerbread, which he shared with French cooks there.

Then in the 13th century, gingerbread was brought to Sweden by some German immigrants. Gingerbread is most often thought to have originated in Germany, since this is the place where it has historically been very popular. In the 1400's, gingerbread was even eaten by people that were suffering from indigestion. I had actually heard of this "home remedy" and have been told that it is a very effective way to help with indigestion.

A town called Shropshire in the UK is the town that is best known for gingerbread, and the welcome sign on the way in to the town even features gingerbread. The first time it is mentioned that gingerbread was made in this town dates all the way back to 1793.

The term gingerbread actually is a reference to the phrase "preserved ginger", and at one time was made mostly with honey and spices. Later more spices were added and the recipe changed, according to the traditions of the countries in which it was being made.

So, whether you're taste ranges from a farm, to a castle, to a traditional gingerbread house, to a carnival, feel free to express yourself when you make your gingerbread home. And if "it's all good in the trailer-hood," there's a gingerbread "house" for that, too! The idea is to have fun, let the kids help decorate them, and the experience will leave them with fond memories they will carry with them and cherish for the rest of their lives. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?



© 2011 KathyH

Comments

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 20, 2011:

Thanks so much, mar! :) It's nice to meet you, too. :) I love the creativity that went into all of these, I can't even imagine how long it took to make them! Thanks so much for reading! Merry Christmas to you, too. :)

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 20, 2011:

Dear Kathy,

It is so nice to meet you. What a fabulous and fun hub!

I enjoyed learning the history of gingerbread and the pics are so cool... the redneck and the carnival are my favorites!

Voted UP & across the board-- Merry Christmas, mar.

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 19, 2011:

Glad you like it travel_man! :) And thanks for sharing it! Much appreciated! :) Merry Christmas to you too! :)

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on December 19, 2011:

Awesome hub, I should say. Although, gingerbread house is not so popular here in the Philippines, they'll be going to like this once I share it in social media (as in Facebook and Twitter).

Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas, Ms. K!

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 16, 2011:

Thanks, girltalksshop, so glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

girltalksshop on December 16, 2011:

Wow!! Love the ideas and the photos! What a great hub! : )

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 15, 2011:

Thanks, Steph! I thought these were the best ones, glad others like them, too! :)Thanks for stopping by! ;)

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on December 15, 2011:

I really love making Gingerbread houses with my kids each year. While it makes a huge mess, I focus on the fact that we are making memories. Love all the houses you have pictured in this hub! Steph

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 15, 2011:

Thanks, alocsin! :) A lot of work went into some of these I'm sure! Thanks for the up votes and for your thoughtful comment as well!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 15, 2011:

Some of those gingerbread treats are incredible. The carnival is my favorite. Thanks for pointing them out. Voting this Up and Awesome.

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 15, 2011:

You're welcome, SanneL, glad you like it! So glad the tradition is still kept up in Sweden as well! :) Thanks for your comment and great votes! :)

KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 15, 2011:

I think you're right, Jimmiewriter! I Can't imagine the time it took to make some of them! Thanks for your thoughtful comment! :)

Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN USA on December 15, 2011:

Wow, these are moving into the realm of art. I doubt anyone eats them at all. Way to time consuming to make and far too beautiful.

SanneL from Sweden on December 14, 2011:

Such a lovely hub!

In Sweden we do love our gingerbread cookies. They are a must to bake for Christmas, and if there are children in the home, we do make gingerbread homes. However, the traditional style. I have never seen anything as elaborated as some of the examples gingerbread homes on this hub.

Well written hub and I loved the history of the gingerbread.

Thanks for sharing this.

Voted up and pushed all the right buttons.

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