The 12th of December is Gingerbread House Day, celebrating decorative, edible houses made of gingerbread.
How to celebrate Gingerbread House Day
You can celebrate today by bringing a gingerbread house into your home, either by buying one already made, or making one. It makes a beautiful Christmas display for visitors to admire and to photograph for display on social media.
You can buy kits to assemble and then decorate at many grocery stores now. For those who are time-pressed, you can even buy them with the “housing frame” already assembled, and just needing decoration.
Or you could be very brave and try making one from scratch. If that thought scares you, you can even now take classes in how to make gingerbread houses, in person or online.
Either way, decorating one makes a great activity for kids. Make sure to get photos so they can remember.
Just be prepared: it’s very common for the results not to look anything like the photos on the box kits, even when people do their best to follow the instructions exactly. There are many photos on Pinterest of gingerbread house fails.
Gingerbread House Competition
A National Gingerbread House Competition is held annually at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina at the start of December, with the grand prize winner being announced on the 12th. The competition started in 1992, and has entrants from as far away as Canada.
The first print media mention that CooksInfo is aware of for a Gingerbread House Day in December dates from 2004 in Michigan:
“Today is: Gingerbread House Day” — Classifieds page. Appleton, Wisconsin: The Post-Crescent. Friday, 12 December 2003. Page F1, col. 1.
The same notice appeared in similar format in several other newspapers on the same day, likely as part of a syndicated newspaper distribution.
10 people who didn’t follow the directions on their gingerbread house kits. Lincoln, Nebraska: Lincoln Journal Star. 12 December 2018. Accessed November 2020 at https://journalstar.com/lifestyles/people-who-didn-t-follow-the-directions-on-their-gingerbread/collection_3e3b6eeb-7d63-5db4-a126-d1c619a556d5.html
Hetter, Katia. Most incredible gingerbread houses of 2016. CNN. 12 December 2016. Accessed November 2020 at https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/national-gingerbread-day-2016/index.html
KWQC TV. Wednesday is National Gingerbread House Day. 12 December 2018. Accessed November 2020 at https://www.kwqc.com/content/news/Wednesday-is-National-Gingerbread-House-Day-502566981.html
Lyons, Beverley. Eight fascinating facts about ginger to celebrate National Gingerbread House Day. Glasgow, Scotland: The Sunday Post. 12 December 2018. Accessed November 2020 at https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/eight-fascinating-facts-about-ginger-to-celebrate-national-gingerbread-house-day/
National Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. ExploreAshville.com. 23 November 2020. Accessed November 2020 at https://www.exploreasheville.com/stories/post/gingerbread-house-competition-at-omni-grove-park-inn/
WBNG TV. National gingerbread house day. 12 December 2018. Accessed November 2020 at https://wbng.com/news/top-stories/2018/12/12/national-gingerbread-house-day/