I love the holidays.  I love the sights, the sounds, the smells—I love it all.  Most of all, I love the baking.  With Pinterest now in our lives it’s incredibly easy to find fun, new recipes (thank you Pinterest).  But I’m a traditionalist.  I want my holidays to taste exactly like they did in my childhood.  So every year I make one of my mom’s recipes and one from my mother-in-law.  Usually it’s the old stand-by—the sugar cookie—but this year I’m going to tackle my very first gingerbread house

Since I’m a gingerbread novice, I did a lot of researching.  How do I make the best gingerbread ever?  How do I make sure it’s going to hold up?  And not taste like cardboard?  How do I find a template for my gingerbread masterpiece?  With all these questions swirling in my head, I almost gave up.  Then I thought of the gingerbread house specialists, our Food & Beverage team.  Of course!  They do this every year.  They bake and prepare for weeks and create the biggest, prettiest gingerbread houses I’ve ever seen.  That's the gingerbread house I want to build. 

It all starts with a good template.  And since I wanted mine to look just like a Great Wolf Lodge gingerbread house, why not use the same design.  Our Food & Beverage team was nice enough to help me with a template, and of course I couldn’t keep it to myself.  So if you are stuck on where to start with your own gingerbread houses, I’ve got just the thing.  Download your very own Great Wolf Lodge inspired gingerbread house template here.  And when you’re done, share a photo of your masterpiece on our Facebook page.    

Now I just need to figure out how to decorate mine.  I think I know where I might be able to get some inspiration.  

And yes, that's HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse helping decorate our life-size gingerbread house in Traverse City. More on him in a future post.