This weekend we participated in my favorite holiday tradition.
|The house my family made. Rapunzel’s tower is to the left with a pond and|
bonfire and beach umbrella and on the right a tire swing.
This tradition started for my family back in 1976. My parents found an article in the December 1976 issue of Sunset Magazine for making log cabin-style gingerbread houses. (You can get the recipe and direction in that post.) Now, if it were me, I would have found the article, thought it was really neat, saved it and maybe 3 years later actually tried it, but apparently, my mom is more efficient than I am because we started making the gingerbread houses that year and have never stopped. It has even become a bi-coastal multi-city event. We just need my cousin to start making them in Europe and we could claim worldwide fame!
|Our 2011 East Coast Gingerbread village|
This year my family and our family here on this coast followed tradition. We built 4 houses here this year. It just so happened that my parents and my brother did their houses on the same day on the other side of the U.S.! We even managed a skype call during our events. They may have cheated by ‘borrowing’ some of our ideas from that skype call…but it is all fun, so borrow all you want!
That is the thing that makes these houses so neat. There is no right or wrong way to put them together. There is no right or wrong way to decorate them and every year there are new ideas. A new way to build the house, like the year we had a Santa Fe style gingerbread house. It seems like every year there is some new idea for decoration, like this year one group of girls made a bonfire using a votive candle and pretzel sticks (it actually lit up and didn’t burn anything down either!). When I was growing up, my younger cousins seemed to make it their goal to put the maximum candy possible on the house. Now, I have my own kids and they do pretty much the same. After all, it is really a fun family tradition with lots of sugar and lots of candy!
Building these gingerbread houses really is myfavorite holiday tradition and the thing that I look forward to the most about Christmas. I have so many great memories of building them and then when I was younger, the wait to get to eat the house. Now, I don’t make my kids wait…well, I guess I do. They have to wait until the next day – the poor souls(I had to wait until Christmas – if I remember correctly).
To all my cousins, Aunts, and Uncles (and my brother and parents) on both coasts with whom I have made gingerbread houses – thanks for the memories! I count them as my favorite Christmas memories and wish I could continue to build gingerbread homes with you every year! Merry Christmas!
Please enjoy pictures of our 2011 East Coast houses and 1 picture of a West Coast House that was emailed to me.
|Featuring a fire in the living room as well as a garage and a bonfire|
in the backyard
|Solar panels on the roof of this house as well as a pond in the backyard|
|The house has a swing and lots of grass – the right side had a huge lake that|
got covered with snow and algae
|One of the west coast houses – I wish I knew what they used to make the grass|