Grandparents often enjoy a very special relationship with their grandchildren, but one grandpa in Danville, Virginia, took his role to the next level by constructing the sweetest surprise for his 4-year-old granddaughter for Christmas this year.
If you happen to find yourself driving down Halifax Road in Danville, Virginia, the 7-foot-tall gingerbread house in retired Navy veteran Jim Searles’ front yard is sure to catch your eye.
A floodlight showcases the adorable project for neighbors and passersby to enjoy, along with a cute sign warning that “no samples” are to be tasted from the house.
What began as a fun idea to spark his granddaughter’s imagination eventually became an exercise in creativity for Searles himself as, he says, the ideas he found for similar DIY projects online lacked the magic he was hoping to create.
“Nobody really had a good gingerbread house,” he shared with the Danville Register And Bee. “They put no thought in it.”
Instead, Searles took on the challenge of designing and building the house using repurposed materials.
“I wanted candies,” he said. “Each one was a challenge. … How do you make a candy out of no candy?”
“The lid to a tea container and some paint became a piece of chocolate,” the news outlet added. “Chunks of pool noodles turned into lollipops. The hardened dough was sculpted into the shape of Christmas tree cookie.”
While Searles is admittedly expecting his granddaughter’s attention span to only have a few minutes to focus on the house, he says he doesn’t mind: “Kids today have lost the art of imagination, and I think that’s what made the world great.”
Here’s hoping that this lucky little girl enjoys her grandfather’s amazing gift for longer than a few minutes, and that it makes her Christmas truly magical!