I have a friend whose mother was born on December 25, and her parents thought it only appropriate to name her Christmas Carol. Embracing her namesake, Christmas Carol started building elaborate gingerbread houses each season with some of her creations even made it on to the local news — true story. But you don't have to be named after the merriest holiday of all time to create a show-stopping gingerbread house. In fact, there are many amazing gingerbread houses crafted by people all over the world, whose monikers don’t reflect the holiday season.

The variety of these creations range from quaint cottages to elaborate palaces, with every type of imaginable shelter in between. No matter what incarnation of gingerbread lodging, it is easy to agree that some of these confection-constructed establishments are truly jaw-dropping masterpieces. The skill of making a gingerbread house that doesn't collapse is enough to impress me, but add to that all the intricate details and beautiful touches, and I am forever in awe of these architect’s talent. So as you prepare for your own gingerbread house construction, take a look at these seven amazing creations that are sure to make your jaw drop and mouth water.

1. The Woodsy Lodge

This amazing lodge inspired gingerbread house is the perfect place to cozy up to the fire (did you notice that tiny, glowing fire?) and watch Home Alone under a fuzzy blanket.

2. The Modern Mansion

Any gingerbread house that has gingerbread men in adorable Christmas sweaters, is a place I'd like to be. This modern homestead even has its own gingerbread party house for all manner of merry good times.

3. The Regal Estate

This gingerbread house is so large, it can hardly be called a house. This, my friends, is a gingerbread estate. And one I would gladly wander in for hours.

4. The Snowy Hideaway

This delicious winter wonderland looks like the happiest place to celebrate the season. It's the perfect house to be snowed in.

5. The Pristine Palace

If I lived in this gingerbread house, I would walk out on that intricate balcony in my poofiest princess dress. This is a castle that looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale.

6. The Colorful Hotel

Instagram user chefhernandez90 created this adorable gingerbread hotel. Her work is showcased every year atThe Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, so if you are in the area, stop by and check out her latest creation.

7. The Whimsical Tower

It's hard to look at this gorgeous gingerbread tower and not imagine a candy Rapunzel inside. In fact, this whole little village looks pretty magical to me.

Images: Courtesy of thechrstmasattic, lexiebelle10, hollandcreek, thechrstmasattic, faizal_syam19, bklynlatinlady, merruli/Instagram