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Reliant Energy Gingerbread House Decorating Content Hits Close to Home

If you had 45 minutes, a table full of surprise candy, and a blank gingerbread house, what would you make for a $1000 donation to your charity? That’s what I did last night. Participating in the Reliant Energy sponsored Gingerbread House Decorating contest is the highlight of my holidays every year.  They bring in a whole bunch of local media people that are on TV every day, so it’s a little intimidating to be in the same room with them, trying to beat them at something. Anyway, that’s just fun. 
My friend, Anna helped me out again this year, She’s been with me doing this since 2014 and it’s something that we look forward to every year. 
Trista and Anna
How the Relient Energy Gingerbread Decorating Contest Works Okay, so the competition is it’s ready, set, go, and when the time starts you have to run and grab whatever ingredients you can. There’s a limited amount of each item, so there’s an element of scrambling to get the best candy. And then at the end, which I was so unprepared to do this year, you have to pitch your house. This is the part where I feel completely disadvantaged because I normally write. I might do a video for my Tried and True by Trista Youtube channel, but that’s just like me and you talking. But pitching to all of the news people that were in the room? They are highly trained to just fill up time talking about things. I was terrified. I was also nearly in tears because the charity we had chosen, Canine Companions,  is especially close to my heart this year as just the week before I had lost my sweet pug. 
Gingerbread house
So after stumbling through my emotions, I gave the microphone to Anna to finish our presentation. So yeah, that was uncomfortable and definitely the most traumatic year of all the years that we’ve been doing it. Next year, I think I’ll pick a charity a little less close to home. One that doesn’t make me want to throw up and cry in front of everybody. But anyway, they were all very kind and nice and took pity on the poor shy blogger who couldn’t find her words.
Gingerbread sideview

Each year at the Reliant Energy Gingerbread House Contest. there is a Judge’s Choice Award. This year it was won bt the folks from D Magazine for their awesome Yellowstone-themed house in support of Community Permanent Supported Housing. It was spot on, I would have voted for it.

Gingerbread contest winner
And then, for the first time, this year also had a runner-up. That was Hannah Battah with Fox Four for the Dare to Dream Foundation. Her house was really good as well. After the Judge’s Choice, the public can vote so we put up our houses for everybody to see so that people to vote on their favorites. The winner of the people’s choice this year was XXXXXX and they got an extra $2000 for their charity. We really appreciate Reliant Energy’s generosity and we love taking part every year, whether we win or not!
Santa Claus detail on Gingerbread House
In fact, everyone is a winner, because all entrants get an initial $1000 for their charities whether they win or not. This year hit deep with me, because I picked my charity the day before my sweet dear pug died and I was and am completely floored. It is hard to talk about such a loss even with friends, never mind in front of a room of strangers. So thank you to anyone who voted for our Gingerbread House this year and to Relient Energy for generously putting this one every year. If you do make your own Gingerbread House this year, be sure to send me pics so I can steal your idea for next year (joking!).   Happy holidays!


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