I lived in the snowy, wintery north my entire life until 6 months ago and I had never made a gingerbread house. So I move to the other side of the world where it is summer all year round and I finally give in. Friends of ours invited us over so the kids could make gingerbread houses for Christmas. It was quite a sight!
Debbie and Larry made the dough and the rest of us brought loads of candy to decorate. We determined to let the boys decide on the design of the house (I would just be happy if it was actually 3D) and decorate it (which really tested my OCD tendencies). They had so much fun! The results were funny and creative (and 3D). The kitchen was a disaster area when we were done but the adults took care of clean-up so it all worked out.
My boys decided they wanted to make a church and to be honest, the only way you can tell it is a church is because they put a cross on the back. The Chinn family made a pirate ship which was really awesome then proceeded to decorate it with candy until it was unrecognizable (albeit yummy). And of course, the Brewster family's castle was engineered as perfectly as their father could get it. :)
We rushed to get the castle home before it melted in the heat. Then we went to the Christmas Eve service at church. When we returned, our cute little gingerbread house had become the hotspot for all the local ants. Oh well, we threw it away and saved money on more dental appointments!