Midcentury gingerbread houses and meat mansions are taking over Instagram

It’s not unusual for gingerbread houses to take over social media around the holidays, this year, likely due to the coronavirus pandemic and the traditional cookie creations seem to have taken on a new flavor. This year, folks are recreating the ski cabin they wish they could be at right now and constructing charcuterie chalets. Seriously, people are getting creative – and we are here for it. Even gingerbread #fails are being approached with extra humor and innovation.

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And it’s not too late to get in on the action. Whether you pick up a kit from the grocery store or follow grandma’s tips and tricks passed down by generations, making gingerbread houses is a fun activity the whole family will enjoy (or, maybe this year it’s more of a solo thing). For your inspiration, or just eye candy, here are some of our favorite gingerbread and charcuterie houses, mansions, cabins, chalets, castles and campers on Instagram right now.

While many have been knee-deep in pandemic renovations, others are remodeling their gingerbread houses with a midcentury spin

This year, gingerbread houses are getting a makeover in the timeless mid-century modern style. Seriously, it’s all the rage. And why build just a house when you can create a whole gestalt, complete with snow, Christmas trees, different wallpaper and even working lights? Almond slivers make an excellent stand-in for natural stone, while pretzel rods can serve as beams.

There’s a reason mid-century modern design never goes out of style, and there’s a good chance stylish gingerbread houses are here to stay as well. The asymmetrical design makes for a fun challenge that also gives you a peek into the interior. Check out the stairs, pond, and campfire all made out of candy and the LEGO minifigures who are ready to move in.

Some people are channeling their misplaced wanderlust into creating the (gingerbread) places they wish they could visit

You may not be able to enjoy a ski vacation this year, but creating this ski-in, ski-out house will make you feel like you’re not missing out on the fun. At least a little. Using a sliver of tree log as the rustic base for a gingerbread ski house is a nice touch, and check out those frosted gingerbread trees and skis, as well as the welcoming fireplace inside.

If you wish you could just take your home on the road, release some of that energy by creating a gingerbread camper instead of a stationary house.

It hasn’t been a great year for new releases, so some creative cooks are recreating buildings from popular movies of years past

It takes a superfan who is also incredibly talented to create a gingerbread replica with this level of attention to detail. This gingerbread bathhouse is experimenting with traditional Japanese designs from the animated film “Spirited Away.” It really captures the #mood.

And Potterheads will absolutely lose their minds after they see this elaborate and moody creation of Hagrid’s Hut made out of gingerbread. Even though it’s the holidays, Hagrid’s Hut has a spooky twist because, well, why not?! You can definitely feel the presence of the dark mark.

While it’s easy to be gloomy these days, some have gone the other direction with suuuuper cheerful creations

This house is looking pretty in pastels. Lacy trim, windowboxes of flowers and delicate pale green trees made from meringue are just some of the details that make this sweet structure stand out.

Some gingerbread houses this year are just plain elaborate

A showstopping gingerbread house can use a pretty standard template if you’ve got the decorating skills to make it stand out. The beautifully intricate, lacey designs on this sweet dwelling are sure to make it even harder to eat later (though, really, does anyone actually eat their gingerbread houses?). I mean, there are actual lace curtains on the windows.

While some people adore the modern designs, others seem to want to time travel back to the Victorian era. It’s almost hard to believe that this amazing replica of a Victorian house is made out of gingerbread.

Talk about elaborate. This interactive gingerbread barn was inspired by the Fisher-Price Little People Farm that many of us grew up playing with. The barn doors actually open and close, revealing spaces with fondant farm animals. There are twinkling lights, Santa on the roof and even a silo filled with shredded wheat cereal.

Of course, not every gingerbread house can be picture perfect. Luckily, we can always blame a dinosaur…No one will suspect a thing.

And then there’s the charcuterie chalet trend…

If gingerbread or sweet things aren’t exactly your thing, don’t fret because you can still build an extravagant house using cheese, meat, crackers and more. Check out that rosemary wreath and olive penguin!

No gingerbread necessary, here — just a charcuterie board or, er, tree stump. Who doesn’t want to make a breadstick log cabin with avocado roof?

No need to start from sratch. You can transform a store-bought gingerbread house kit into a dreamy charcuterie chalet; simply add savory touches like cream cheese stucco, a salami roof, Parmesan snow, pretzel windows, rosemary trees and a marcona almond walkway. You know you want to.

Making gingerbread houses is only one of many food-focused Christmas traditions. If building a house isn’t on your to-do list this year, try baking some of these great Christmas cookies instead.