The gingerbread house is one of those holiday perfection metrics that goes beyond a fancy wrapping job or killer buffet spread. It feels like an absurd measure of quality that women are seduced into believing is preferable to the gingerbread outhouse alternative: quirky, skewed, imperfect, lacking, unique, and real.
I long for the days when Santa's helpers were mystical, magical, mysterious and unseen little people and not some overpriced brand. But, the times they are a-changing. If I must participate in this new "tradition," I choose to let the elf serve it's purpose -- to set on a shelf and encourage my children to be "nice."