This is Part Three of 5 Days of Holiday Bull$hit: A five-part series on Christmas consumer crap. Here’s the introduction, Part One: Holiday sales events, and Part Two: Gendered toys.

The housing market is cruel. That’s the lesson my toddler of a daughter learned when we unpacked our $10 gingerbread house kit. The kit included: gingerbread house pieces, cookie characters, pre-made icing, a tray, and “lots of candy!”

The $10 Gingerbread House Kit

The $10 Gingerbread House Kit


Counting the pieces to the gingerbread puzzle.

Counting the pieces to the gingerbread puzzle.

The problem? Our busted box of a house was missing the peppermint pinwheels package. As the main focal point on the roof, my kid noticed there were no “swirls.”

Peppermint swirls on the box.

Peppermint swirls on the box.


Zero peppermint swirls in the box.

Zero peppermint swirls in the box.

Maybe the packaging was a jerk for advertising swirly peppermint swirls as part of the deal. Maybe we were just unlucky with our real estate pick. Either way, we were peppermint swirl slighted. After the building began I got over the peppermint omission fast. So did my kid.

I suppose I could have marched back to the store with receipt in hand and demanded a better cookie cutter home. I could have bought a few swirls too. But I didn’t. I just rolled with the missing circles and had a blast raising the roof with Chloe instead. We had fun playing engineer for the afternoon, peppermint pinwheels be darned.

The Abominable Snowman looks more like Casper the Friendly Ghost. I'm over it.

The Abominable Snowman looks more like Casper the Friendly Ghost. I’m over it.


We raised the roof successfully without a peppermint swirl in sight.

We raised the roof successfully without a peppermint swirl in sight.

Here’s the thing about the holidays — nothing is ever perfect. No present, toy under the tree, holiday meal, or stocking hung by the chimney with care is perfect. Marketers may sell us an aspiration of holiday perfection, but we’ll always fail.

You miss the magic moments when you dwell on the imperfect minutia.

You miss the magic moments when you dwell on the imperfect minutia.

The holidays are about enjoying the time we have with family, friends, and all our loved ones without feeling the need for a perfect pinwheel.

Happy Holidays, you guys.

Love,
Kerry