Winning gingerbread house at Village Manor

Friday, December 29, 2017
Darlene Hill and Joe Hamilton stand beside the winning gingerbread house made by Hamilton and his team from Nissan.

For many families, the tradition of making a gingerbread house is a favorite pastime during the holiday season. While decorating and deciding what type of candy and what color icing to outline the roof of the gingerbread house, families share ideas and make memories that last a lifetime, as well as work together as a team.

Employees in the Information Systems Department at the Nissan Headquarters in Franklin, incorporated constructing gingerbread houses as a team building project and made it a competition among the teams.

Six teams participated with 12 employees in each team. The teams were given a gingerbread house kit and were required to use every piece in the kit. Then they could use their imaginations and develop the small house into whatever they desired.

Joe Hamilton’s team, whose house is shown in the photos, won the competition. Hamilton and his team built a gingerbread house that is 2 ft. by 3 ft. and is made of peppermints, life savers, red hots, sugar candy, icing, sprinkles, pretzels, frosted mini wheats, twizzlers, crackers and more.

The only items not edible are the pine cones, rocks around the stream below the water wheel, the pillow stuffing used as snow around the house, and the cardboard that the house is constructed on. There is also an elf on the shelf that is made out of red gummy candy.

Each team member spent approximately three hours working on the gingerbread house which was during their lunch breaks and after work.

After Hamilton and the team were announced as the winner of the competition, he noticed other team members disposing of the houses they built. “It just didn’t seem right to throw our gingerbread house away, so I carefully placed the house in the back of my car. I had to remove part of the chimney for it to fit,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton’s wife, Susan, who is employed with Amedisys Home Health Care, contacted Darlene Hill, administrator of Village Manor in Lewisburg to see if she was interested in displaying the gingerbread house at the assisted living facility. Darlene accepted the donation and this is where the gingerbread house resides today.

“The residents and visitors have really enjoyed the gingerbread house. The detailed patterns and intricate designs are amazing,” remarked Hill.

While Hamilton and the team members only won a pizza lunch for building the best gingerbread house, this project brought them closer together and will allow them to work more productively at Nissan.