One of my most favorite activities during the Christmas season is to decorate gingerbread houses. Building them isn’t my favorite, but putting on the icing and covering it with various types of candy. We create a little sidewalk and fence with square pretzels, use small candy canes as the door frame, and then the finished masterpiece is our new table centerpiece for the rest of the season.
I’ve always bought the houses pre-made, the kind that we just need to connect together. The icing never seems to be strong enough, so I’ve dipped the sides in melted sugar and “glued” them together that way. Just cover in icing and no one know, right?
When the kids were little, I used graham wafers and we created smaller houses. My daughter’s birthday, being in mid-December, had the little houses as an activity and take-home gift for her parties. This became our annual activity.
Many years went by, and I wanted to resurrect the tradition. Of course, the houses look different, as we’re all older, but it was still a fun family activity.
Ask your family members whick traditions mean the most to them. It might be surprising. You may be focusing on an activity or food or gift that doesn’t mean as much as you thought it did.
As it turned out, it seemed that I was the only one who really wanted to make them. The time and money spent on this annual tradition wasn’t as important as I’d thought. There are so many other things on my to-do list, that it was easy to take the gingerbread house decorating evening off the list, leaving me more time for something else that I could enjoy, or we could all do together.
Less stress, less mess, and more fun for everyone. If I ever want to just get creative and build a house myself, I can. But, for now, it’s likely an idea that will be left on the shelf with the pictures to remind us of the fun we once had creating our little village.