As I've shared repeatedly, consider your choices of activities carefully, one never knows what will become a tradition. New Year's Eve means hourly fun, a family gift exchange and in 2013 I threw in Gingerbread building. This was a lark as we hadn't gotten around to building our houses earlier in the season. I had purchased two kits....next thing I knew the activity was a competition and now we always have our annual "Gherkin Gingerbread Competition," on New Year's Eve. I'll write a New Year's Eve post, but some are waiting eagerly for THIS post....Note the chance for YOU to vote at the bottom of this post.
First, KUDOS to this year's team captains - Stacia and Nolan. Planning ahead in an organized manner is a new feature of our competition. Each was provided the same gingerbread kit, spatulas, bowls, spoons, and $20 to shop for anything else they may want. In past years, I did the shopping and provided exactly the same items to both teams. This change allowed all a more active role in the creative process (and made my life easier). They chose a theme, created a shopping list, shopped and brought the admins of the competition (Michael and me) receipts. They were allowed one free item from home and other items from home were given a monetary value and subtracted from their $20.
This "Gingerbread Gherkin" is also new this year. The winners will get to host him for the year. They will take photos of his adventures, mail him to one another and I'll post him on the blog and on our Courageous Joy Facebook page. He'll rejoin us next New Year's Eve.
We added an element of Cutthroat Kitchen. Each team was given $9,000.00 in Monopoly money. In round one they bid on cute little Wilton elements to add. In round two they tossed a coin and blindly chose from two elements to add to their design. One was a sparkly, silver deer head, the other was two big silver bells with ribbon and mistletoe. Both teams did a great job of incorporating the elements - we forgot to take photos of how hideous they were.
Brainstorming has already begun for new items and handicaps for next year. Possibly a fan blowing on the creation as they work.....
They were also able to bid on either using or passing on the large gloves. Stacia won the bid to pass the gloves to the men. This turned out great as the ladies were still working on detail work and the men used them to work with the copious amount of "mud and cement" in their creation.
Here are some random shots of the competition.
|So it begins....|
|Working with the deer head|
The women created icy trees and MT Rainer from their deer head. The men stuffed all the fluffy stuff into the bells and created a much more massive tower for their construction site than originally possible. Great creativity on both sides.
You never know who will show up at these competitions. I was charmed by the creativity all evening.
|Bride and Groom|
|PEOTUS - Donald J. Trump |
Here are the finished projects, team descriptions and a poll for YOU to select 2016's winner.
- We have prepared a Gingerbread portrait of our year in
review. It is placed in a campground with a quaint trailer. It also features a
wedding cabin, with ice covered trees in the background., a dog park with two
pugs, a Seahawk goal post with Mt Rainer in the back ground. Sledding is
featured on MT Rainer. Our baby is content in her carriage and another member is building an orphanage in Mexico. Our challenge item was a silver sparkly buck's head and antlers. Our team had $3,800.00 left.
Portrait of 2016
|Wedding cabin with Bride & Groom and icy trees|
|Baby Carriage....note the dog park in the left corner|
|Campground with tens and trailer - Seahawks stadium to the right|
|Sour patch people building an orphanage and sledding on MT Rainer|
- We have prepared a winter wonderland construction site under
the supervision of our PEOTUS, Donald Trump and his minions. In this scene we have successfully created
several action scenes: the minions create mayhem around the construction site -
including trouble in the honey pot, the realistic depiction of the table saw,
pouring of concrete... We ask that you vote for us and make Christmas great
again. Our challenge item was two big sparkly bells, ribbon and mistletoe. Our team had $8,000.00 left.
Make Christmas Great Again
|Table saw |
|Note lumber piles and pasta scaffolding|
|Complete with a porta potty....|
|Trump and Pence oversee the construction from their giant tower|
My vote for winner in the Gingerbread Competition
Past year's competitions and winners:
- Men won with their Town square complete with a clock tower.
- Women won with their sweet Chapel; Men's Night Before Christmas disqualified them according to judge Michael.
- Women won with Mad Hatter's Tea Party over the Men's rendition of Santa's Village.
2016 - will the winner be "Portrait of 2016" or "Make Christmas Great Again" - go vote.
*Note: Michael and I do not miss out on the fun. We got to play with Bella for two solid hours last night! 😀😁😀