2020 Is the Year of the Gingerbread Dumpster Fire

Why make a house when you can sum up a year?

gingerbread dumpster fire is on fire
Photo: u/meowypants83 via Reddit

In 2020, "home" has a different meaning than it normally might. We've all had a bit too much time at home already this year, and going "home for the holidays" is tantalizingly out of reach for many of us. So with all that in mind, you can forgive bakers for wanting to eschew the traditional gingerbread house in favor of something that more aptly describes the year that was.

Yup: In addition to 2020 being the year of the charcuterie house, it also looks like it's shaping up to be the year of the Gingerbread dumpster fire. Often deployed as a stock metaphor for anything truly awful and abysmal, "dumpster fire" can refer to anything from the 2020 New York Jets to a year where millions of people lost jobs can be accurately referred to as a "dumpster fire." Now, bakers of Reddit and Instagram are making edible dumpster fires of their own.

Fittingly, some of the gingerbread dumpster fires of Instagram look visually compelling, colorful, and, dare I say it, even tasty. One highly stylized example from graphic designer Akiko Stehrenberger (aka @Doyrivative) uses a rolling gingerbread dumpster with peppermint wheels and a Hershey's lid that can't contain some seriously roaring flames.

This from @Elizabethann1211 takes a more explicitly festive approach, though one might assume from the visual context that Christmas itself caused the dumpster fire.

Unsurprisingly, the gingerbread dumpster fires from Reddit are a bit wackier and (in at least one case) more dangerously literal.

While you'll find your standard yet endearingly homemade attempt to assemble a dumpster fire out of gingerbread in r/Baking from u/nefasti, extra points for creativity go to u/bunnykawaii12, whose dumpster fire posted in r/Gingerbreadhouses refashions a standard house kit into a dumpster with help from some Flamin' Hot Cheetos. As u/bunnykawaii12 clarifies, the fact that the Cheetos are expired and the gingerbread house "does not smell good" only adds to the effect.

Probably not last and certainly not least though is a highly upvoted gingerbread "house" from u/meowypants83 that's literally a gingerbread dumpster fire. While the outside form is familiar, the dumpster houses real flames, given off by lighting marshmallows inside the dumpster. As the mad scientist behind this creation puts it, "it's basically a giant s'more already!"

Surely there will be more gingerbread dumpster fires popping up in the days ahead, and why not? It's a fresh twist on a classic concept that can occasionally start to feel a bit stale. If you're up for a gingerbread-based challenge and want an edible yet artistic way to briefly commemorate a year most of us would rather forget, have at it. Just make sure it all gets eaten up or thrown away by January 1st, because we can't be bringing those sorts of vibes into 2021.

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