On Monday night we had my daughter and her husband, my son and his girlfriend, along with her stepfather, mother, and brother, and my youngest daughter participate in the annual decorating of the GB --- as they have dubbed the event on twitter. My husband and I tried to ensure that everyone had enough frosting and goodies to complete their project.
The ante has now officially been "upped" in the Gingerbread House event. While the "typical" house would include two pentagons for the front and back, two squares for the sides, and two rectangles for the roof --- many participants this year decided to cut their own shapes for a different gingerbread look. But I am getting ahead of myself. On Sunday afternoon I rolled, cut, and baked 8 different houses. I usually do this at least 24 hours in advance so that the gingerbread has a chance to set and somewhat harden.
On Monday afternoon I went shopping for all the decorating goodies. These tend to vary slightly from year to year, but typically include:
- Frosted Mini Wheat cereal -- makes a great thatched roof; or hay
- Tootsie Rolls - makes great logs stacked on the side of the house
- Green Gumdrops - makes perfect bushes to decorate with snow along the perimeter of the house
- Necco wafers --- good for a roof
- Red Licorice bites - also good for a red tile roof effect - or a chimney
- M&Ms --- all around good decorating
- Jelly Belly (ice cream assortment) - these particular colors make great sidewalks or stone effects for the side of a house
- Stick Pretzels -- make a great fence or just good all-around building material (I forgot to buy these this year and was made aware of my faux pas. It will not happen again)
- Nerds - or other small candies - make good Christmas Light decorations
As I mentioned before, this year we got into the sculpting of gingerbread as well as the simple candy decorations. One made a rather clever in-ground house sculpture; my son-in-law made a pick up truck, my daughters made an adobe style house, and my son and his girlfriend put their houses together and made a "ranch" house (hmmm....I wonder if this was a subtle hint that they plan to eventually live together?? -- eg --- an engagement is in the near future?)
Ultimately I think fun was had by all. Decorating lasted nearly two full hours, and many laughs were shared. It is always a great time - and I am so glad that this tradition has continued after the kids have grown. Although I do wonder how many houses I will have to make once grandchildren are on the scene?!