Thursday, December 21, 2017



The holiday season is a time for families to come together and celebrate.  This past Tuesday, Taft Elementary School’s PTA made it possible for community members to do just that when they held their annual Holiday Houses event.  This is an annual celebration where families around the community can come to decorate gingerbread houses that anyone would be proud to display.

According to, the first gingerbread recipe was made in 2400 B.C., and it has been evolving rapidly ever since.  Ginger is used for gingerbread cookies, gingerbread houses, and many other delicious foods.  Around the holidays, recipes that include this delicious spice are used all around the world to keep families’ traditions alive.  

There are plenty of traditions that families have that help make the holiday season special.  For example, Cheyenne Sampson, third grader at Taft Elementary School, “has a big family dinner on Christmas day and bakes gingerbread cookies.” 

For the past 10 years, the Taft PTA has done an amazing job with keeping the Christmas tradition of gingerbread house making enjoyable and entertaining.  Gingerbread houses take an immense amount of time to complete to perfection, as people need to have patience and concentration.  First, the house itself has to be built.   This proves to be such a daunting task that it requires people to use a mount to help it stand up.  Once the walls have been adhered, the fun begins: candy is placed all around the houses, bringing them to life.   This is everyone’s favorite part. 

People of all ages truly enjoyed this event.  Students and parents were able to “get together to make a house and also see families they don’t normally get to see,” expressed one of the leaders of the Taft PTA.  Though the younger children were mainly focused on making their own magnificent gingerbread houses, throughout the event they were also worried about how their friends’ houses were moving along.  This was true for Cheyenne Sampson’s experience, as her favorite part was “getting messy and helping [her] friends decorate their houses.”

At the end of the evening, families anxiously stood by while teachers voted on the best houses. Unfortunately for the competitors, winners will not be determined until Friday, December 22nd during the school day.  Whoever wins the contest will be the gingerbread house making champion earning bragging rights for the year. 

Needless to say, this event was a huge success that continues to gain momentum.  As a PTA member explained, “We started out with 15-20 families the first year, and there are 93 gingerbread houses being made this year.”  

The growth of this event truly shows how successful it is.  In the future, there is no doubt that this event will continue to be a smash hit.  The Holiday Houses event gives community members not only a fun night out,  but a tradition and memories that will last a lifetime.

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