While some viewers turn to Hallmark Christmas romance movies to get in the holiday spirit, others tune in to the Food Network's festive baking shows.
With offerings like Holiday Baking Championship, Holiday Wars, Candy Land, Christmas Cookie Challenge, and Holiday Gingerbread Showdown, there's no shortage of Christmas-themed original content on the network each year in the weeks leading up to Dec. 25.
On the first two seasons of Holiday Gingerbread Showdown, the competitors battled it out for the chance to win $25,000 and a feature in the Food Network Magazine.
When was Holiday Gingerbread Showdown filmed? Keep reading to find out if the series was shot before the COVID-19 pandemic, and to learn where you've seen the judges before.
When was 'Holiday Gingerbread Showdown' filmed?
Viewers have been catching up on the series during marathons on the Food Network and on Hulu.
Many of the other 2020 Food Network holiday programs were filmed outdoors, at isolated resorts, or with significant precautions in place, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Because of this, some fans have wondered why Holiday Gingerbread Showdown appears to have been filmed on a regular Food Network soundstage.
The first two seasons of Holiday Gingerbread Showdown were filmed (and they originally aired) long before there were any pandemic restrictions.
Season 1 of Holiday Gingerbread Showdown originally debuted in November of 2018. Because the Food Network shoots shows months in advance, Season 1 was likely filmed in the summer of that year.
Similarly, Season 2 premiered on Dec. 1, 2019. Judge Mary Berg posted a photo on Instagram from the set of the show in August of 2019, which seems to be when it was originally filmed.
So, yes, all of your favorite themed baking shows are actually taped months before the holiday that it's centered around.
Who are the 'Holiday Gingerbread Showdown' judges?
Those viewers who have watched both seasons will already know that the host and judging panel changed significantly in between Seasons 1 and 2.
For the first edition, the baking competition was hosted by Marcela Valladolid. She's a Food Network chef who has previously been at the helm of her own show, Mexican Made Easy. Marcela was also a judge on the competition series, Best Baker in America.
The judges for that year included Molly Yeh, Kerry Vincent, and Adam Young.
Adam has a unique tie to Marcela Valladolid. He originally got his start as the winner of Season 2 of the Food Network competition series, Best Baker in America.
He resides in Connecticut with his wife and two daughters. When he's not appearing on the Food Network, he owns two locations of the Sift bakery.
Many fans will know Molly as the host of Girl Meets Farm. Cake designer Kerry Vincent is best known for judging Food Network Challenge.
On the second season of Holiday Gingerbread Showdown, only Adam Young returned to the judges side. He was joined by new host, Paige Davis, who became a cult icon in the early aughts for hosting the TLC series, Trading Spaces.
A reboot of the show launched in 2018 as well.
For Season 2, Adam shared the panel with Mary Berg. She won Season 3 of Canada's version of MasterChef, and she's the host of her own recipe series, Mary's Kitchen Crush.
The third and final judge for the second season was Maneet Chauhan, who often works on Chopped.
You can catch up on Holiday Gingerbread Showdown on the Food Network or on Hulu.