Return of the beloved gingerbread competition


Meredith Gebski

A gingerbread recreation of Davison Hall took first place at the 2021 competition.

Caroline Moran, Crier Staff

Another gingerbread contest in the books, hawks! After a year of no traditions, it was the best start to a busy week for students. Hundreds of students gathered in spirited teams to create their best gingerbread houses. Creative liberty was taken very seriously that night, and so many different gingerbread houses took the stage to get scored. To those unlucky enough to have missed out on the festivities, prepare for a recap of a good night. 

Returning students and newcomers felt the Christmas spirit, and prepared themselves diligently for their hard work. It was Elizabeth Moran’s first competition, and she was “so ready for it” and made sure to add that she was “going to kill it on her team”.  Senior Luke Moran was “preparing by listening to Christmas music” and senior Julia Krutul joined in with her preparation of “a lot of caffeine and you know, and a lot of pep talks to myself”. She then shared. “It was a tradition I definitely missed a lot with covid, so it’s nice to have it back on the Hilltop”. A resounding “of course!” came from the two when asked if they were ready to bring their best to the contest. 

Freshmen Chloe Mason and Abby Edwards couldn’t contain their excitement either. When asked how they’re feeling going into it, they said I’ve never done this before but I’m so excited! I’ve been so excited for this, and I’ve got a lot of Christmas spirit for it!”

A lot of prep may go into this competition from the hundreds of participants, but most of the heavy lifting comes from behind the scenes, from our very own Davison Dining Hall Staff. An event like this can’t be whipped up overnight, and “We have actually been planning this out for months, it’s taken hundreds of hours from our bakers” Esther Reed, Residential Director for dining services shares. She tells us that “it’s been probably two months worth of preparations.” Immense time and effort gets put into this competition, and it’s no wonder why it came out such a success. 

Hours and hours go into making the competition perfect for those participating, and of course Esther didn’t do it alone. She tells us, “We’ve had to use our outside accounts to help us out even with our projects. We’ve had Rebecca, a student worker helping us for hours tying ribbons and packaging things up. It takes quite a bit of effort to put everybody into this and make it work.” Employees and students alike come together to prepare this special festivity every year, and their efforts don’t go unnoticed!

With a year so different as this past one, it’s understandable why this tradition could have been different as well. But Esther informs us  “I think it’s been the same process. Things have been very traditional and we’ve kept things the same every single year, but maybe things like extra packaging and wrapping are different other than that we keep everything the same.” Saint Anselm is known for its sense of tradition and prides itself on it, and our dining staff stays true to that. The buzz of excitement for the competition was felt by all participating, but even more so for those who put it all together. Esther says “We all look forward to it, it’s all we’ve been talking about for three weeks.” 

Time and effort was well spent at this year’s competition. Reed says “There’s a lot of people who have not experienced this, I think more than half the people in the room probably have never even heard of this, so it’s exciting.” New experiences were brought to freshmen, and upperclassmen got to enjoy a tradition once again that they’ve loved in years past. So many different forms of gingerbread were brought to the competition, and the results must have been tough to decipher. 

Congratulations to the winners of the competition, and what a great way to end the semester. Be sure to visit Davison to see the display of gingerbread houses underneath the Christmas tree, and thank our incredible dining staff for putting on another great competition. If you missed out on it this year, be quick to sign up next year to show off your gingerbread skills!