Why I'll Never Make Another Gingerbread House

Sorry to be such a scrooge about it.

holiday gingerbread house
Karol FranksGetty Images

Call me a scrooge, the grinch, the kid who deserves coal in her stocking, but here comes a hot take: Gingerbread houses suck.

I know they are nostalgic and a fun! party! idea! for! the! holidays! But are they really that fun? And are they really that delicious? Spicy bread cookies so dry they can be used to form walls?

Gingerbread has a super long and honestly lovely history dating back to 11th century Europe. The cookie stuff was first made of ground almonds, rosewater, sugar, stale breadcrumbs (see??), and ginger. The strong scent was used to often mask the stench of decaying meat before refrigeration was around. Ew. Gingerbread cut into the shapes of men were also given to young women to then gift to men to encourage them to fall in love. But no love will be coming your way if you give me gingerbread.

So, the world has decided to take a cookie that doesn't even taste good and then ask gravity to take a break so that they might build a house with it? Let’s just discuss.

Problem #1: Gingerbread houses are hard to make.

Unless you’re a professionally trained pastry chef with a temperature- and humidity-controlled room, your gingerbread house is going to look like a pile of garbage. You can argue that there are pre-made kits out there in stores to provide you with everything you need for a gingerbread house, from the precut cookies to the frosting to the decor, but I’m sorry, when have those kits even worked? If you are somehow able to get the cookie walls to stick together, the resulting visual is some questionable white liquid oozing out of the seams of the house. And the "decor?" Gumdrops broken out only for the month of December every year, along with other hard candies guaranteed to chip your teeth? They aren’t cute, nor are they worth the dental bills.

Problem #2: They don't taste good.

“Edible” is a loose term, apparently. A gingerbread house is about as edible as play-dough—you can eat it, but should you? These houses are usually left out for days (more on that later), drying out and crusting over. Yum!

Problem #3: They're not even meant to be eaten.

Gingerbread houses, once finished, are meant to be admired and appreciated, but not eaten. Your "masterpiece," which probably looks more like the little pig’s house after the wolf blew it down, is somehow supposed to be cherished for its craftsmanship, so much so that you aren’t supposed to eat it? As a child, I hated this. You spend all this time playing with cookies and candy, in a room scented with ginger and spices, and the reward is what? Simply gazing at the finished product for a few days? No thanks.


Gingerbread houses are difficult and messy to make, they almost always turn out ugly, you aren’t really meant to eat them, and even when you do, they don’t taste good. The whole practice is honestly wasteful. Does it really bring you joy? No. And now, about that putrid punch you call eggnog...

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