Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Countdown to Christmas: Gingerbread Madness

When the boys were little, we started a family tradition that involved gingerbread houses. Or, in the case of this one in the photo, graham cracker shacks!

The annual contest is not as much about beauty as... innovation. Best use of materials. A unique chimney made out of something different. A scene in the "yard" that makes us laugh. Something we haven't seen before...

Most important is having fun.

Some years it gets competitive. The year one of my sisters was in Culinary School she got a little wacky with wanting to be precise and drove her partner - my son - Absolutely Crazy. Because he knew that's not what it should be about. Gingerbread contests shouldn't be about precision. They're about fun.

Do you make gingerbread - or graham cracker - houses? If you've got a crowd (or classroom) of kids, graham crackers are totally the way to go. (Or if you want to build a shanty town, like we did one year...) My dad instituted the idea of prizes - but everybody gets one. He comes up with a prize title that "fits" each individual work... and each winner gets a dollar. Even though they're teenagers now, the dollar still means something. The tradition still means something.

Probably because it's a tradition.

Do you have a tradition like this in your home?