On Thanksgiving evening, after our leftovers were stored away in the refrigerator (but before we got all the dishes done) we gathered around my kitchen island to take part in our long-standing Gateway-to-Christmas ritual . . . Decorating Gingerbread Houses.
(I am very happy to report that we had no broken bones, calls to 9-1-1, roof cave-ins, or other major mishaps this year!)
The entire process is rather long and drawn-out, with preparation taking place over several days.
First, there is the baking.
And then, there is the building. (Thanks, Keith!)
Finally . . . it all culminates in the Fun Part: gathering the materials and letting the creative juices flow.
We make quite an impressive mess when it comes to this project!
(Although far less mess now . . . than when Erin and Brian were children.)
(Oh, my. So much less mess.)
This year, we welcomed Brian's girlfriend, Lauren, to our gingerbread house madness. As a good-natured engineering student, she took to it like a champ! Brian even joined us to "help" -- and I don't think he's been interested in gingerbread houses since he was about 10! He and Lauren teamed up to create these adorable snowmen out of gumdrops (skewered on candy canes).
Truth be told, Brian acted a bit like he did when he was a 10-year-old! Like . . . he kept gluing random gumdrops to Lauren's house when she wasn't paying attention (. . . how did THAT get there????) and dropping candy "turds" in Erin's pristine coconut lawn. (Once a pesty little brother, always a pesty little brother. . .)
This year's final products:
Erin . . .
My mom . . .
Lauren . . .
And me . . .
A whole gingerbread neighborhood . . .
Welcome to December!