Bucket List…

photo.JPGHappy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and whatever else you’re celebrating today.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring the fur-girls to work with me.   Gg is the cutest paperweight ever, and Sissy keeps us all laughing.  (You can see more of them – maybe too much of Sissy actually – and find out who won the Chewy.com prize on their blog.)

I’m also thankful for friends who humor me, and for the dedicated Board of the JLC.   We’re going through a lot of changes right now, and I’m grateful for leaders with strong, thoughtful opinions to share the load and guide the ship, so to speak.

About the title of today’s post…   What *DO* you call it when you do something that was on your bucket list but it fell short of expectations?  Some of you know that for YEARS, I’ve wanted to host a gingerbread house decorating party.  Well, check that box on the list!  I couldn’t have done it without several of you, and we’ll see how I feel about it – and how next year’s JLC board feels – next year.

photo.JPGFirst up is the winner, designed and decorated by last year’s president.  Her Christmas card arrived just before the event, and let’s just call it foreshadowing; it had a photo of her last year’s “model” in the photo montage.

This is actually the back view, but it’s also my favorite.  *IF* I do this next year, I may draft her to come “pinch decorate” for me.  That’s what past presidents, got your back friends are for, no?  (Hem.  No.  I do know better, but I need some sort of handicapping to stand a chance…)
Of course you want to see the rest of the house…  and both of these photos were taken prior to completion, prior to the elaborate “beaded” walkway and patio…  Look, I remembered to snap photos, so don’t push your luck, okay?

So, the details.  I snagged kits last year at the after Christmas sales, so I warned everyone not to eat anything from the kits, but I also supplied extras, like all that green icing, the green gel that outlines the windows, etc.  We had M&Ms, cookies and we always have dinner “catered”.  I have it in quotes, because that night’s feast was home-cooked ziti and a salad with Trader Joe’s dressing.  Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he brought podunk a TJ’s just in time for the holidays!  We also had really cheesy awesome garlic bread and a host of dessert offerings.

photo.JPGHere’s the runner-up house, and yes, it had matching “text” on the other roof panel as well.  Obviously, none of the houses came home with me, because Sissy would never leave all those peppermints alone, and I’m pretty sure every house had at least one peppermint on it!  We all voted, and this house was selected for the “Ho Ho”s and the icicles dripping down (just imagine…  I didn’t get a photo of that angle.)

And here’s a collage of some of the other houses.

PicMonkey Collage

photo.JPGHere’s a shot of the consolation prize-winner, in one of its finer moments.  This house was cracked , and as some of you have guessed, the weight of the icing the two different women used as they tried to glue it back together caused a total collapse.   You have to have a sense of humor and patience to enjoy gingerbread house decorating, it seems!

My gingerbread house...I suppose you’re going to insist on seeing my effort.  Before you praise it, you must know I only decorated the roof and the front… and made a really feeble stab at the back just before I lost interest. 

Here’s what I can recommend if you host your own such party:

  • *DO* buy the kits, especially if you can find them on sale. Even the veteran decorators in the crowd appreciated the pre-assembled “canvas”.
  • *DON’T* use the “royal icing” included in said kit.  It’s too dense/stiff and I think most of us who became disenchanted actually had sore hands from trying to squeeze the thick muck through the small holes we cut (so that we could pretend we were piping real icing).
  • *DO* cover the tables with something you can just grab at each corner, wad up and toss.
  • *DO* provide hand wipes for each station. 
  • *DO* provide scissors or cheap paring knives for each station.

Are you doing anything new or different this holiday season? 


14 comments on “Bucket List…

  1. kn1tty cat says:

    I love the photos and it looks like fun 🙂

  2. gmariesews says:

    Oh I think it looks fun. I hope even if you were less than impressed with the outcome that the even was fun – good music, good friends, laughter? It’s not just about the finished object, but also about the journey. I hope the journey was wonderful and you can put a star in the box even if you never need to do it again.

    As for the bucket list – well it’s about the experience and honestly, not all of them are going to be wonderful. that’s just the nature of life. Seriously. Happy Thorsday! g

  3. needles54 says:

    for many years we did this at my sister’s house, we always used kits and lots of exttra’s but since no one was ever going to eat them we did use glue guns which truly helped the stability!!!

  4. Nichole says:

    I haven’t made a ginger bread house in years… since I was a kid. I keep saying I’ll do one every year and then, well… time gets away. Looks like so much fun!
    We’re celebrating #6 today in the Lapdog house!

  5. Katherine says:

    Gg is so cute I just want to kiss that little face and hug her. I would probably scare her badly!! LOL! I did the gingerbread house thing once and I think it is one of those once in a life time things–at least for me. My favorite is the fourth picture down on the left with the red and green decorations on the roof and the red licorice front posts. I’m a sucker for red licorice!

  6. kathy says:

    That looks like a lot of fun!

  7. Natalie says:

    Love all the houses! how fun! I want to do this with Carmen but I have to make it all egg/milk free! I found a gingerbread recipe without eggs so now just need to work on the icing! How fun!

  8. Marjie says:

    When my boys were smaller, they decorated gingerbread houses every Christmas, baking our own with Pampered Chef molds, of course. But they skipped it last year. We’ll see if they want to do it again this year, or if they’ve just outgrown it. Your JLC friends did great jobs. And, of course, your four footed paperweight is as cute as ever.

  9. kathy b says:

    THree Holiday Cheers for you Channon. Im so happy you put that dream in motion, no matter the outcome.
    I’d like to have an outdoor snowy bonfire at some point during the holiday season…..

    I love your gingerbread house party tips. YOu always teach me something Channon!!!!

  10. Nancy says:

    The houses are CUTE. I’ve never decorated a GB house, so this may be the year to “git er done!”

  11. Sorry…I was so distracted by your getting a TJ’s that the rest just slipped right me! Awesome. Now I can tell you all about my favorites, without feeling like heel. BTW…guess who is going to be 14 tomorrow?

  12. Blond Duck says:

    Awww, I’ve always wanted to have a gingerbread party. That sounds like a blast. And congrats on the girls winning their prize!

    I did a story today on therapy dogs….I thought of you. 🙂

  13. Sue says:

    I love looking at gingerbread buildings, but I know I don’t have the patience to make one. We will, however, be making gingerbread men and pups this weekend. Can’t wait.

  14. We make a gingerbread house every year for Christmas. Definitely not one of my more favorite things to do (only because the kids argue about who gets to decorate what and with what), but I enjoy seeing everyone else’s creations. 🙂

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