I'm a gingerbread-house failure, and that's OK

Nov 27, 2013 at 2:30 a.m. ET

Every year, I see the most amazing handmade gingerbread houses on Pinterest.

These are not humble gingerbread houses. These are gingerbread mansions. They are elaborate and beautiful and most certainly more fancy than my own house.

I can make cutout cookies. I can make peppermint bark. I can even make candy canes.

But build a decent gingerbread house with my kids? I fail. Oh, how I've failed.

Year after year, we make tasty gingerbread men and women. But they remain homeless.

I’m a gingerbread house failure and that’s okay

One year, we tried the graham-cracker method. It seemed easy! You buy graham crackers. You use frosting for glue to build a house. Easy, right? Wrong.

I’m a gingerbread house failure and that’s okay

It looked like a pile of graham crackers that roughly resembled a box. A shack, maybe? I couldn't get the roof to stay up, and the frosting oozed out of the seams — but not in a friendly way. Then it fell apart, totally condemned.

Plus, it isn't even a gingerbread house. It is a graham-cracker house. Not the same thing.

So last year, I got smarter. I would make the walls myself. I needed that pointy piece so the roof would have something to rest on.

I’m a gingerbread house failure and that’s okay

I made my dough and cut out a template that I printed online. But once that wonderful smell of gingerbread baking wafted through our house, my kids started lurking in the kitchen like sharks.

I’m a gingerbread house failure and that’s okay

While the pieces were cooling, my 3-year-old snatched one of the walls. I caught him, but not before he took a giant bite and broke the piece in half. Then I remembered that I'd forgotten to buy candy canes and gumdrops and all the other random candy you need to decorate the darn house. So I just shrugged, and we ate the walls.

Sorry, Gingerbread family. The only house I can give you is in my belly.

I'm just going to stick with cookies this year.

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