We've had a gingerbread house party for years, possible 20 years. In the early years I slaved for days with kids in tow to make about 10 houses for guests.
After all these years, I've decided to give up making the houses, and just go buy them. Depending on how stressed I am, my houses don't always work out- roofs cave in because the gingerbread is too soft (but yummy to eat) or some gingerbread burn easy so I have to start over.
Plus, my family hasn't gained designing expertise over the years as you can see above. They throw the candy on and then eat it promptly. I should have taken a picture the next morning after we made this one- it looked like a church ruin in Ireland.
From now on, I give in and buy the over-priced kits.I'll take my bow for weakening and giving in.