Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's weird what we remember from our childhood. And it's funny how sometimes we don't get to pick what becomes tradition.
The ball just starts rolling and we are helpless to stop it!

(No this wasn't the gingerbread house from my youth - our's was way better)
Growing up, my mom we made a gingerbread house every year.
This is way before "kits."  Our house was legit!
We had a template.
My mom made real gingerbread.
Our gingerbread house had a door that opened, real windows, was cool!

The gingerbread house would be "on display" in the center of the dining room table.
The rule was that we couldn't touch or eat the house until it was rock hard and would break all of our teeth off after Christmas.
So we would kneel down on the floor, prop our elbows on the table and stare at the house: ESPing pieces of candy to magically "fall off" so we could eat them.

Building the house was a complex affair.
We were subject to the altitude, humidity, baking conditions and our own lack of patience.

Anything could go wrong at any minute.
But my mom was a pro with the patience of a gnat Job.

My mom's gingerbread house was so good good enough that she and her friend were invited to come teach the rest of the ladies at church how to build the perfect gingerbread house.

Imagine gingerly placing all of the walls, roof, candies, their mixer and other supplies in the cavernous trunk of the Cadillac and hoping that nothing would roll around during the drive to the church. (That's a whole different post)

The day of the "demonstration" was humid and royal icing can be finicky.
My mom's friend piped the royal icing (guaranteed to set rock solid in minutes unless it's humid) while my mom held the walls.
She held the walls and held the walls and held the walls, waiting for the frosting to set up.
Every time she felt like the frosting was set, she would remove her hands and "voila" the walls would fall over.

Three times, Connie piped icing on those walls.
Three times, my mom held the walls patiently.
Connie and my mom kept up a cheerful banter telling their students how easy and fun this was.

Finally, the walls collapsed a third time.
A poor lady in the front row couldn't help herself.
She laughed.  She couldn't stop.
My dear, sweet mom, looked up from the pile of walls and frosting and said,
"It's not funny!  Dammit!"

But it was!
And after that demonstration embodying love, charity and hope, lwho wouldn't incorporate gingerbread house building into their Christ-centered Christmas?

It was funny!  It still is!


Shirley said...

LOL Yep, it's funny!

Stephdeezy said...

So funny!

An attempt was made last night to assemble a gingerbread house. Yeah no such much for that.