Mixing the wet ingredients: butter, molasses, egg white, brown sugar. A lump of dough from the day before sits in front of Nat, awaiting its Platonic Shmingerbread form.

Ben's favorite cartoon, "Chowder," was all about making Shmingerbread for Knishmas.  So we thought we'd try it, too.  We never use a pre-fab house or a kit.  We do it all from scratch and turn it into a three-day, all-family wintertime event.

Nat is pretty good at the egg-separating.
The templates Ned made for the house.
Ned carefully trims the pieces.
Shmingerbread components come out of the oven.
The frosting is the cement that holds the Shmingerbread house together.
Finish assembly with royal (pain) icing. Everyone gets in on the act.
Take a break for kisses.
Begin the candy features that bring it to life. Each person uses their preferred sugared medium. I like Hershey bar shingles and shutters; Nat likes M&M lights. Ben likes gummy bear inhabitants. Max likes Life Saver shrubbery. Hannah likes Twizzler moldings. Ned likes coconut snow.
It takes a lot of thought and concentration. And icing glue.
Discussion sometimes gets heated.
In the end, it is a work of art.
Ben takes a taste.
Looking at it the next day prior to destruction. 'Tis beautiful.
A Shmingerbread-eating grin.