Edible windows, that is, perhaps constructed from a semi-translucent candy and popped into the gingerbread walls of their houses. As contestants in gingerbread house contest at Biggs Park Mall, they talk often about complying with the all-edible-parts rule and get ideas from candies they encounter.
“We’ll be in the grocery store and just go down the aisles,” 15-year-old Doris said.
The contest requires that participants use gingerbread and only edible material in their houses. Finished creations are due to the mall by Dec. 4. The deadline to enter is Nov. 30. All entries will be displayed from Dec. 5 to Dec. 19 at the Lumberton mall.
First prize in both categories — children and adults 15 years and older — is a $100 mall certificate. The second-place winner in both categories takes home a ceramic gingerbread house.
Eleven-year-old Charles, who can use a kit in his age category for kids 7 to 14 years old, plans to build Santa’s barbershop. The idea came to him from something his sister Doris said.
“It just hit me upside the head,” he said.
He might build elves from gumdrops or M&Ms and use a candy cane for the pole. A chocolate Santa clothed in frosting may also make an appearance.
“We’re creative people,” said mom Julia Paul. “We can build anything.”
Though the family constructs a gingerbread house each year for Christmas, often around Doris’ birthday on Dec. 22, they have never made the gingerbread themselves, said Julia.
Because of the rules in her age category, Doris can’t use a kit and must build her house beginning with gingerbread dough.
“I’ve never made it myself, I’ve always gotten the kit,” she said.
She intends to create a winter wonderland-themed house inspired by the tale of Hansel and Gretel — with her modifications of coconut snow.
Outside the house could be snowmen fashioned from coconut balls and dressed in Laffy Taffy scarves. Doris said she hopes to have competition.
“I like the challenge,” she said.
Charles agreed, adding a condition: “As long as we don’t have a Martha Stewart coming after us. Or is that Betty Crocker?”
One the competition ends, the family will gather closer to Christmas to build a gingerbread house once again.
“We’ll definitely be making another for home,” Doris said. “It’s like a tradition, to make a gingerbread house.”
To enter the gingerbread house contest, visit Biggs Park Mall in Lumberton or call mall manager Jan Tedder-Rogers at (910) 740-1627.