The gingerbread house did not overtake my life! I really do not like messes. Actually, I don't mind some things being messy, but I just can't handle intentionally getting things out just to make a mess.....playdough, markers, things with lots of little pieces. I made a conscious decision to let my kids make a mess on this one. Let them be kids. So, I let them watch me assemble the house and then they did all the decorating without me. Everyone had a plate with icing, knife and bowl full of decorations. I even walked away from the table. They didn't fight. They laughed hysterically. They ate candy - Samoosa did more eating than decorating. This was the final product. The mess wasn't too extreme. I think we just might do this again. It may take me a little longer to agree to playdough on a regular basis.