Every year, we decorate a gingerbread house. Well, not exactly. Last year, we made a train, or rather, they fought over which sections of the train they got to smear with tasteless frosting and cheap candy. It fell apart before the kids could eat all the candy off it when they thought I wasn't looking.
This year, I found a gingerbread village, with five little houses. I wouldn't have to split my time between defending property lines and dividing the scant candy offerings. This might actually be a fun family moment instead of kids throwing tantrums and parents' heads exploding.
So we opened the bags of candy, kneaded the bags of prepared frosting, and sat down to build memories. Snowman even joined us. And I saw each of my children's personalities manifested in sugar and stale cookies.
On the far right, we have da Boo's creation. Choosing to not follow the suggestions on the box, she did her own thing, borrowing heavily from what I was doing. And just when she thought she might be finished, she dumped a whole lot more sprinkles on the roof.
The A-frame belonged to the Boy. He got right to work with the icing, barely letting his sisters get time with the bag. And his visions were grand! Big, big plans he had! Sure, he started out copying me but then decided he had better ideas. Alas, his schemes were more complicated than royal icing and gumdrops could provide. Tears were shed but in the end, he was satisfied with his work.
Then we get to Baby's house on the far left. The Man attempts to remain an observer but she takes over and gets him to do all the work for her, except when it comes to candy placement. And should she decide that mound of sprinkles doesn't quite work in that location, she moves it. To her mouth. In fact, the following morning, I have the nerve to take a shower, thus leaving my toddler unsupervised for fifteen minutes. And that was all the time she needed to finish off the candy she missed the night before, along with most of the frosting. By the time I got back downstairs, she was the one that needed a shower.
The last two houses belong to me and the Snowman. Can you guess which one is whose? The one on the left is called a "red roof inn" and not the type that normal people know as hotels. These red roofs are all over Philmont Scout Ranch. As a bathroom. If you look inside -- and I don't recommend that you do -- you can see the, uh…seats.
And then I got a little too into decorating my house. Maybe it's because I haven't been able to decorate very many cakes lately.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
(The one you'd gotten a bit fanatical about? Come on, people! Help me not feel like such a freak…)