SPRINGVILLE, Utah — The dinner table is set for Christmas Eve, with holiday decor all through the house — creatures are stirring, yes even a mouse.
That's because the house is made especially for the fondant mouse Chloe Oehler has created.
"It’s supposed to be a hollow tree for a mouse family," said Oehler.
Everything in Oehler's hollow tree was handmade and hand-baked.
"The outside was one piece of gingerbread," said Oehler. "So, I’m making the house and I’m making cookies for the kids as well."
It's a tradition Oehler started more than a decade ago when her son was born.
"I make sketches in the summer of what I want my house to look like and techniques I’m going to try," said Oehler.
From paper sketches to cardboard models, to the dough, Oehler designs for months and then builds for about 30 days.
"As long as it’s a creative process, it’s fun for me and the day goes by so fast," said Oehler.
For her hollow tree, Oehler painted family portraits of the mice with a toothpick and included details like a kettle on the fire, a mailbox out front, and toys in the different rooms.
"That’s my favorite part, the little, tiny details and coming up with ideas, and telling a story with my gingerbread house," said Oehler.
The story for this year's house is about a mouse family gathered for Christmas.
"Inside the house, you can see where little Christmas dinners are set out and little presents," said Oehler.
A reflection of a similar gathering Oehler's family and a new tradition for her daughter to join.
"My daughter Millie made her own this year for the first time," said Oehler.
10-year-old Millie designed a green cabin with a red door, a snowman outside, and a Christmas tree with lights on the inside.
"My mom helped me a little bit, but I chose it," said Millie.
It took her three to four days to complete her cabin and Millie said next year, she wants to try making a bigger gingerbread house.
Oehler and Millie entered their gingerbread houses in the Springville City Gingerbread Contest earlier Christmas week. Oehler won first place and Millie won second.