Dear Gossips,

It’s time. It’s the 4th anniversary. It’s the Gingerbread House Competition. It’s time for you to vote.

The live competition takes place every year at my friend Lorella’s. Click here, here, and here to see the entries from 2011, 2012, and 2013. This has become an intense tradition. The competitors spend weeks, maybe even months coming up with their ideas and figuring out how to execute them. These are the rules:

Everyone starts off with the same store-bought kit. Using multiple kits is allowed. But apart from the cardboard base, EVERYTHING MUST BE EDIBLE and created on site during the competition. You don’t get to pre-order something from a store. This is a particularly important point when you consider the detail involved in some of these figures. The competition begins in the morning and ends around midnight. That’s 12 hours straight without assistance. Tell that to Martha Stewart.

A judge has determined the winner. You, however, are the People’s Vote. The Gingerbread Houses for 2014 are below, with descriptions. Email me at [email protected] with your choice.

1.Christmas – Gothic Style:
Inspired by the gothic cathedrals of Europe. Using multiple kits' worth of gingerbread (and then some) this architectural beauty also features royal icing wrought iron fencing, and melted hard candy stained-glass windows. Take a peek inside to admire the pews, altar and pretty blue and yellow altar decoration. (Pale green fondant mimics age on the cooper roof.)

2.When in Rome (for Christmas):
This ambitious entry (the first in competition history to take up two cardboard bases) is a "sweet" rendition of the one and only Vatican. With a basilica constructed with sugar cubes and gingerbread (and topped with a massive Kinder egg cupola) and "Bear-nini's" Colonnade, painstakingly recreated with wafer sheets, more sugar cubes and gummy bear "saints". For Christmas, the obelisk has been replaced with a giant (ice cream cone and icing) Christmas tree and the cobblestones of St. Peter's Square are tiny black beans.

3.Oh Christmas Tree(house):
This entry's tidy little house is perched on a big old tree. The tree is built on a base of sugar cubes and Rice Krispie squares, covered in chocolate fondant, with hand-carved wood grain. Extra long cinnamon sticks provide the tree's bare winter branches and the step ladder up to the treehouse, where almost everyone is unwelcome (but Santa.)

4.Christmas on Sesame Street:
The Sesame Street gang's all together in this colourful entry. Bert chats up his pigeons, Big Bird hangs up his three-toed stocking and hits the hay in his signature pose, and Ernie builds a snowman while Cookie Monster starts to nibble on the 123 Sesame Street brownstone itself (Oscar, as always, gives side-eye.) This is the first entry ever in the competition’s history to submit a "facade" rather than an actual building, but the back is also decorated, with its Manhattan fire escapes and apartment windows. (White candy floss provides the "smoke" rising from the wafer stick stovepipes.)

Have you decided? Let me know at [email protected]! (PS. Click on the date above to open this intro article in its own page to see all the photos) 

Yours in gossip,