This year, in keeping with her theme from the last couple of years, Ashley made a Colonial Williamsburg-inspired blue house. It has two central chimneys and dormer windows, and is decorated with wreaths and a pineapple over the door.
The roof of Ashley's house, with the cute dormer windows and the two chimneys.
My house (as usual!) is Victorian-esque with its porch and pastel colors and little side garden. As a first this year, I actually forgot a chimney; I decorated the entire roof before I realized it and then it was too late to add one! Ah well, next year!
Miss T, one of our friends, made a Christmas house with Santa, reindeer, a garden full of evergreens, and lots of red and green. Her house came out so cute! Mr J, her brother and always the most adventurous of us all, created an amazing gingerbread engeineering marvel: a windmill! After only one minor mishap, he got the wheel to stick to the tower he constructed for it and it looks pretty incredible. We never cease to be amazed by the things he comes up with!
Next year will be our 20th anniversary for this tradition, and we've already begun brainstorming some potential ways in which we might mark this milestone. One idea is to begin with four generic houses and then pass them from one person to next around the table, every person adding a different element as the houses continue to circulate, so that we'd create four houses between the four of us, each a collective conglomeration of all of us. Another idea is to make the four parents create their own houses next year, while we of the younger generation sit back and watch! Our mum and our friends' mother made their own houses for a couple of years, but it's been a while and we can tell they're eager to try their hands at it again! The real challenge will be to convince the dads that they want to do their own, too! Our friends' father has already said he's willing to rise to the challenge, but our dad is going to take a little more convincing. We've got a year to do it, though, so we'll see! :-)