Hansel and Gretel would have had a field day at the Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill, where The Home for Little Wanderers hosted its fifth annual Gingerbread Decorating Competition to celebrate the organization’s new Toy Room and Big Wishes Gift Drive.
The event paired chefs and celebutantes with sweet-toothed junior architects and real-estate developers, who were greeted with enough candy to keep an army of dentists filling cavities for all eternity and by Celtics mascot Lucky doing gymnastics.
Prominent among the throng: brunette bombshell Julie Hume Gordon and her ridiculously cute 4-year-old, James, fashionista Tonya Chen Mezrich with the adorable Asher and Arya, smoldering beauty Jasmine Punzalan with her handsome little handful, Lucas, furniture mogul Michelle Pepe (spotted licking frosting off her hands), and a 5-year-old named Sade Olsen who befriended Summer Shack owner Jasper White and then told him she was going to crush him in the competition.
As it turned out, White’s creation, co-decorated by fashion designer Sara Campbell with buttons from her atelier, won the prize for “Most Noteworthy,” while Olsen’s boasted a sugar tree forest courtesy of Mandarin Oriental pastry chef Oralia Perez and was the favorite of the nonprofit’s head honcha, Joan Wallace-Benjamin. Coldwell Banker bigwig Pat Villani had help from her grandson, Logan, 5, in making a dream home complete with Goldfish cracker trellises, pretzel fences and Tootsie Roll lanterns lining the path, and the closing seemed to go smoothly. Asher Mezrich, meanwhile, cleverly figured out that Life Savers bitten in half made a nifty bridge, and he then selflessly offered to make them. Trying to impress the Celtics’ mascot, American Hustle actress Erica McDermott and daughters Maisy and Katie incorporated a hot tub into their design, and although they didn’t win the “Lucky’s Choice” award, they did walk away with “Best Use of Candy” honors.
In the end, the creations ranged from an all-pink confection with tons of fluffy coconut to a haunted house covered in spiders and cobwebs made of frosting, and the decorating had escalated to the point where broadcasting smoothie David O’Leary and gluten-free guru Laura Raposa put dollops of frosting on the noses of their 3-year-old twin teammates.
However, the proverbial cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that was this event is the fact that yours truly didn’t have to deal with any of the kids once all the sugar kicked in.
Adding extra sparkle to an already dazzling holiday tradition, Boston Ballet hosted Nutcracker Magic at the Ritz-Carlton, where kids and kids at heart were transported to the Land of Sweets, but not before sitting down for a delicious and nutritious dinner.
Guests were greeted by characters from the ballet, as well as craft tables where they could make artwork or get their faces painted (prompting one person to wonder why the mothers bothered to do their makeup at home).
Front and center were event chair Alison Quirk, honorees Angela and Tom Menino, stalwart supporter Eleanor Pao, silver fox Pam Humphrey, Fidelity exec Pam Norley, new dad Yo-el Cassell, Tito “No Relation to Michael” Jackson, the gregarious and gorgeous Hannah Grove, uber-attorneys Susan Fried and Timothy Diggins, the stunning Andrea Hoff, low-key big deal Stephanie Brown, and scads of freshly scrubbed kids in their Sunday best and on their best behavior.
Eventually, the adults sat down to a delicious three-course meal, blessedly accompanied by some excellent wines, which almost made up for the fact that the young ’uns got chicken fingers, curly fries and crudités (cleverly served in a mason jar).
Then it was off to the Opera House for the performance, which was magical, even for the kids who are allergic to nuts.