It went something like this:
When Anne-with-an-e and Betsy were little girls, Santa always left gingerbread house kits under the tree for them. We built and decorated the houses sometime during the Twelve Days of Christmas. With kits come great advantages for someone like me (someone who has had to grow into the role of craftiness ... I still don't embrace it naturally, but I usually end up happy that we did whatever we did.) Kits have all the pieces you need, and they are already baked. Kits have royal icing mix, and kits come with candy, ready to be slapped on a roof. Kits are convenient.
Kits were The-Only-Way-to-Go for several years, but then a few years back, a friend suggested that we try making gingerbread houses together, from scratch. I was terrified, but I tried it (and I think I coined a new phrase in the process -- Gingerbread Back.) But a new gingerbread era was ushered in, and we haven't looked back. (Though I sometimes gaze longingly at the kits in the store....)
One thing, however, has changed in the last few years. When Anne-with-an-e and Betsy were but wee little girls, a charming gingerbread cottage was all one needed. Ramona's still fine with a charming cottage (her house this year was decorated as a candy store), but Betsy had a Tardis in mind, and Anne-with-an-e (BBC-Sherlock fan extraordinaire) was thinking 221B Baker Street.
First there was the graham cracker prototype:
Then came the first stages of the homemade houses:
And, the finished products....
221B Baker Street (Sherlock's scarf and John's sweater made appearances, and -- though you can't see him very well from this angle -- Moriarty is peeking around the corner from the back of the building):
And Ramona's Candy Store (she threatened to request Hogwarts, but in the end, she really, really wanted a candy store):
Thus we close the book on this year's gingerbread chapter. The End. Until next year.