For Eric Pan­icucci and Gar­rick Dickson, the 11th annual North­eastern Gin­ger­bread Con­struc­tion Con­test was about far more than the sweet treat.

We’ve come in second place for two years run­ning, so this year we’re going big, making some­thing unique and we’re paying atten­tion to the little details — every­thing we need to come into first place,” said Pan­icucci, a third-​​year crim­inal jus­tice major.

The com­pe­ti­tion is def­i­nitely stiff, but I think we’re got a good shot at win­ning,” added Dickson, a fourth-​​year graphic design major.

This time around, the duo built “Santa’s Ski Resort,” which fea­tured a gin­ger­bread house and a ski slope, with frosting snow, ice cream cone trees and a stream of blue M&Ms.

Sixty-​​four other teams joined the con­test, which took over the Stetson East dining hall last Thursday. The win­ners will be chosen today by stu­dents who cast votes online or in the Xhi­bi­tion Kitchen. 

North­eastern Dining Ser­vices gave stu­dents 700 pounds of gin­ger­bread, 1,200 pounds of icing and 2,000 pounds of candy for the com­pe­ti­tion, which is held every year on the day before final exams begin.

Making gin­ger­bread houses is a family tra­di­tion for many of our stu­dents,” said Deb Fan­tasia, the mar­keting director and Xhi­bi­tion Kitchen coor­di­nator for North­eastern Dining Ser­vices. “We know a lot of people are missing home right now, so we’re hoping to give everyone a good time during this stressful part of the year.”

After voting ends, the gin­ger­bread houses will be trans­ported to Rosie’s Place and the Pine Street Inn, where dis­ad­van­taged mem­bers of the Boston com­mu­nity will get a chance to share in the hol­iday spirit. Dining Ser­vices will match the $100, $75 and $50 prizes awarded to the top three teams by making dona­tions to Haley House or Toys for Tots.

This is a chance to do some good while having fun this hol­iday season,” Fan­tasia said.

Some stu­dents may have entered the com­pe­ti­tion to indulge in free sweets, but many others were engaged in the con­struc­tion and dec­o­ra­tion of gin­ger­bread masterpieces.

Freshman mar­keting major Natalie Dick­inson helped her friends create a house with an ice rink of icing and Andes mints. “I jumped in at the last minute and thought I would just eat all the candy,” she said. “But they put me to work!”