It seems more than a little surreal to finally finish this little gingerbread house of mine. I can remember so distinctly the day I Googled “Gingerbread house from the movie The Holiday” (I spend too much time on the internet), and, when no results came up, decided that it was something I needed to do. The prospect was so daunting, even from the start, that it took nearly three years to happen, but happen it did.
The planning took the longest and was the most mentally taxing for me because, as I have disclaimed before, I am garbage at math. I enlisted the help of my dad for this step, and together we came up with a basic blueprint of the house. Behind the scenes images from the construction of the movie cottage (it was built for the movie so, sadly, it doesn’t actually exist in real life) allowed me to scale the house down into miniature and glimpse the backyard and sides of the house which aren’t shown in the film.
The construction of the house (baking the pieces, making the glass, and then “gluing” it all together with royal icing) actually went surprisingly well. Except for having to remake the glass a couple times, there were no real hangups and the whole process really only took a few days.
Progress decelerated a little during the “Details” phase (roofing, piping gutters and vines, landscaping, etc.) due to various hang-ups and unexpected challenges. I remade the paver stones twice, the cotton candy smoke failed (humidity and cotton candy don’t mix), I had trouble with the writing on the fence sign… really the list goes on and on. It was hardest to keep my energy up during this phase (the thought of making more royal icing started to make me queasy) but I knew that the quality and overall look of the finished product really depended on me not giving up so I just had to trudge on.
So after having worked on this project diligently for over a month (+ 3 years of having it sloshing around in my brain), I’ll be completely honest and say I’m a little tired of looking at this thing. I love it, I truly do, but I think that’s par for the course when taking on something of this magnitude (like not enjoying Thanksgiving dinner as much when you’re the cook). I’m mostly proud (and relieved) that I set out to do it and did, keeping with one of the key tenants of why I write this blog, to “check off” my never-ending list of to-do’s and to-make’s and share with anyone who might be interested in similar things. Maybe there are others, equally as obsessed as me with Christmas, English cottages, and the film The Holiday, who will search the internet for a gingerbread house based on the movie and this will be there, waiting for them. Just maybe.
If, like me, you’re crazy and want to make this, below are some printable resources including all the recipes I used, a template for the pieces, and a basic checklist.