For me, the words "gingerbread house" will forever call up images of me and my siblings as wee little towheads, covered in icing with nothing to show for our efforts but a two-graham cracker lean-to. But to others, the gingerbread house is an artistic medium in itself and the ultimate holiday crafting challenge. Here are some spectacular houses, rounded up from all around the internet, that will serve to inspire you, should you set out on your own gingerbread spirit quest.
1. Nevie Pie's brightly-colored little cottage plays off a popular Christmas tune. Why not go all the way and craft yourself the remaining eleven days?
2. This "Sugar Castle" was constructed by Chef Jean-Francois Houdre and stands at a whopping 12 feet. 70 pounds of gingerbread were used to make this chateau...which is approximately 70 pounds more gingerbread than anyone actually cares to eat.
3. & 4. My two favorite fictional ships...in gingerbread form?! This Tardis from Dr. Who Overdose and Serenity by Kristoffer Gressli just reaffirmed my faith in Christmas miracles.
5. For the traditionalists out there, take a gander at Martha Stewart's gingerbread nativity scene. Let's see if Frankincense and Myrrh are any more recognizable in cookie form...
6. A gingerbread reimagining of the Globe Theatre by Cathy Christiansen. I'm sure that Willy always meant to write a Christmas pageant.
7. I'll just go ahead and say what we're all thinking. This other Nevie Pie gingerbread house is for the birds.
8. Somewhere, Buddy Valastro just got chills.
9. A gingerbread model of St. Basil's Cathedral. Or is St. Basil's Cathedral a non-gingerbread model of this...?
10. I may be biased, what with living in Brooklyn and all, but Kitchen Table Scraps' fantastic gingerbread brownstone might be my favorite of the lot. Look at the balcony—I mean fire escape!
This sampling of gingerbread houses doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what's out there. If you have a killer idea for a gingerbread house/time machine/brothel/what have you, please do share!
Photos via Martha Stewart, Examiner, Dr. Who Overdose, Wired, ABCNews, Amelie's House, Sassybeautimus, YouBentMyWookie, CNN