A half century ago, holiday-ready gingerbread houses pretty much adhered to a single, "Hansel & Gretel"-ish look, with a peaked roof, a frosting-covered front door, and, if the cook got creative, a picket fence made of candy canes.
But advances in gingerbread-based design have zoomed forward at an astonishing pace, thanks in large part to our Pinterest-powered day and age. Cookie contests and school raffles regularly see gingerbread condos and gingerbread hotels and gingerbread midcentury abodes and gingerbread swimming pools, too.
The walk-in gingerbread house, though, still reigns supreme. There are only a few places to see such marvels, typically large hotels here and there, and the JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA Live is performing the wow-inducing honors over the 2015 yuletide season.
The house, which weighs 1,300 pounds, is owned by Mrs. Claus, reveals the hotel, and several of her personal effects, from picture frames made of sugar to chocolate Santas, will be on display.
Speaking of Santa, he'll make a cameo at the house on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 1 o'clock to 5 p.m. (there shall be photo-taking, if you haven't gotten your requisite number of Santa snaps in by that date).
Other happenings around the hotel complement the cookie-sweet casa, from "Holiday in a Box" package at the Mixing Room -- it comes complete with party favors, reindeer antlers, and such -- to appearances by "Kung Fu Panda 3" characters (the DreamWorks Animation favorites'll also be around on Dec. 19, when a special Mixing Room "Holly Jolly Day" gives guests "exclusive access to the LA Live annual skating rink."
Are you inspired? To go beyond the peaked roof and gumdrop front door, with your own gingerbread baking in the weeks to come? It isn't easy making all of that icing and candy line up.
It is pretty easy, if you're in the LA Live neck of the woods, to go over the (LA) river and to JW Marriott to see what several hundred pounds of gingerbread, fashioned into a room-like space, look like, however.
The Mrs. Claus's walk-in gingerbread house will be on display at the hotel from Nov. 30 through Dec. 31.