We try it each year, and each year we fail at making pretty ribbons with the icing and properly spacing out the gumdrops.  But this might have been the worst gingerbread house fail yet with the dog adding his own festive touch.

I'm not one to provide too much coaching when I let my daughters make a gingerbread house, and I'm not sure that it would matter if I offered tips anyway.  I'm not the craftiest person in the world and I've never won an art contest, and they usually have way better ideas than I do when it comes to color combinations and making pretty things happen.  I've come to realize that it's just my job to buy the gingerbread house, open the box, and clean up after the free-for-all.  And maybe next time I should stand guard against the dog.

Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
Jen Austin - Townsquare Media

The finished product is never what's pictured on the box, and there have been many Pinterest pages and Youtube videos dedicated to gingerbread house fails.  The frosting never comes out of the tube easily, and in my case, it usually feels like a blood vessel is going to pop as I'm squeezing out the ribbon.  But we only managed a few bad drips that we'll pretend are intentional icicles.  After the icing, the girls stuck on the candies (the ones that didn't hit their mouths first), and they squirted some red and green dots on the roof before sucking on those tubes of frosting.  We got tired after about ten minutes and decided to quit.

And then the dog.  Benny is a 1-year old miniature schnauzer, and he's into absolutely everything that has a scent or makes a sound.  He's always in trouble for something.  I caught him once standing up on his hind legs trying to reach the gingerbread house on the table with his long schnauzer snout, and a short time later I came around the corner again and he was on top of the kitchen table licking the icing off the roof of our gingerbread house.  Thankfully, the girls had already eaten all of the gumdrops and broken off a couple of cookie pieces so our hard work wasn't a total loss.  They got to eat some of it before the dog sent the rest to the trash.

Does any family ever eat an entire gingerbread house?  Maybe the dog did us a favor and saved us a few hundred calories by slobbering on the roof and making us toss it.  It would have been nice to dunk some rock-solid cookie pieces in coffee like a biscotti, but that will have to wait for next year when the dog is watching all of this from his kennel.

If you want to enjoy more gingerbread house fails, click HERE. And good luck with your own creation.  I'm sure it will top mine.

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