After last year’s Swedish Christmas gingerbread house fiasco (I lost a week of my life to the cause), I thought I decided to swear off gingerbread houses for good. But when Jenni Kayne asked me to help her put together a gingerbread making class for her kids and their friends, how could I say no? I’M OBSESSED WITH GINGERBREAD HOUSES!!! This year I baked my own gingerbread from scratch and assembled them with homemade frosting (after last year’s glue fiasco). And because the houses were for Jenni’s Hanukkah dinner, the color palette was silver, white & blue. For the month leading up to the class, I bought any candy in sight that fit the bill. What struck me most about the experience, from baking to shopping to setting up, was watching the kids decorate their houses. Some kids went crazy with frosting and quick mosaics, while others were far more methodical in their processes, with a clear plan. All of the kids started decorating on the roof, while one girl focused on well designed pathways on the ground. Just watching their creativity and enthusiasm felt really magical–the true feeling of the holiday season. So thank you Jenni for bringing me out of my gingerbread house retirement. While this isn’t an activity I grew up with, I’m now committed to maintaining it as the best new holiday tradition in my life. For my gingerbread house recipe, how-to tips and the dinner I made for the parents and kids after class, please check out Jenni’s amazing blog Rip Plus Tan. Happy Hanukkah!