My sister’s gingerbread houses are certainly some of the most beautiful ones you will ever find anywhere. Francesca has been creating these masterpieces for over 15 years, starting when my nieces were little girls. These lovely holiday productions have been featured in many homes every Christmas, including ours. They are too beautiful to eat (take some pictures first!), but when you do finally cave in, there’s no stopping! Enjoy the images of the process and the final product, below, as well as the story behind them. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!
Thank you so much to my friend, Francesca Sammaritano, for sharing this lovely Christmas tradition with us. These images are a compilation of the last three years of creating these amazing Gingerbread houses! Francesca is Assistant Professor of Fashion Design, Parsons The New School for Design, and we blogged about “Inside the Parsons Studio” here!
Gingerbread House Tradition
Family traditions make the Holidays special and magical. Growing up in Sicily one of my fondest memory was that of making “cuddureddi” (traditional Christmas cookies filled with fig jam-all homemade and locally grown) with my mother and my aunts. We made so many cookies to last us through the season and enjoyed them at every gathering during the Holidays.
When my daughters were in preschool, I began my family tradition of making gingerbread houses and cookies. The cookies would double as tree ornaments and make great gifts. We have been making houses and cookies for the last 15 years; creating new designs, testing the template in cardboard first and then making it in the gingerbread dough. Through the years we have made all sorts of houses: French Chateaus, Medieval Castles, Log Cabins, Victorian, New England even Gaudi style houses! We make a variety of houses and keep one for our family and we give the rest out as Christmas gifts to our friends, as well as the cookies. I save one house to raffle off and give proceeds to charity or donate to a local needy family or organization.
As my daughters grew and went off to college, we still kept this tradition; I would leave part of the house for them to decorate when they would come home for winter break.
It is a wonderful sensation that from all the baking, our house smells like gingerbread through the season, and that to us feels like Christmas and a time to celebrate with our very own tradition.
And see some of the “in process” shots below…