The Big Wrap-Up: Just Mercy

Going Solo

Last year, I had a little existential crisis about whether or not I should make my annual gingerbread house when it was . . . just me.  Ultimately, I did it.  It was a struggle to get started, but in the end it made me happy.

In fact, it was cathartic.  Gingerbread house as metaphor for life.  Things change.  Kids grow up and move away.  Mothers get sick and leave us.  We need to find ways to carry on.  Bake it.  Build it.  Slap on some frosting and sweeten things up.  Breathe.  

And the next year (which is now this year)?  
Why . . . you do it again!


Because when it comes right down to it, my trusty Pampered Chef gingerbread mold has holiday memories and stories and family love baked right into its every crevice.  It's time for me to release all that . . . stuff . . . again.


I discovered last year that baking, building, and decorating . . . just one . . . gingerbread house was a perfect way to welcome the "ghosts of Christmases past" into my heart for the holiday season.


So last night I baked the pieces.  And sometime over the next few days (when there is a lull in the action), I'm looking forward to putting them together and decorating my house.

Just me.
By myself.

And I'm fine with that!


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Thank you for this post! It is so easy to feel "sorry for yourself" this time of the year with kids scattered far but you have reminded me that those "ghosts of Christmases past" are okay. XO

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Tom!


We also baked gingerbread houses when the boys were little, but they lost interest (or were mostly just interested in eating the candy) so I put my mold away and haven't made one for a long time. You've inspired me and I think I'll make one solo. The houses always made me happy, and I am not going to refuse more happiness. Thank you!


Those ghosts of Christmases past can be difficult to wrestle with but it sounds like you've made peace with this situation and I think that's fabulous. Maybe some day Lauren will want to decorate a gingerbread house with you!


Enjoy the quiet time with yourself. Tomorrow we embark on a whole new world as well. xo

kim in oregon

There is really nothing like a gingerbread house--or rather like decorating one!


I'm so glad you do that!! I bought a little kit with four little "houses" for Junah & Ginny to decorate (and your post reminds me that we need to assemble & let dry prior to any kid involvement)!


I love this. I couldn’t have an amaryllis for a few years after mom died because they always cam from her. Last year I decided I would be the one to give them to others so a bit of mom in my new tradition.


Your gingerbread house gives me a happ!


I hope you enjoy the time you spend making your gingerbread house and I wish you & yours a happy Thanksgiving!


I wondered if you'd be doing this again and I am so HAPPY you decided YES! Happy Thanksgiving, Kym!


I love your comment about a gingerbread house as a metaphor. It is easy to feel the sadness of kids scattered across the country but sometimes doing something because it brings back the memories is also what I need. Enjoy all those memories. Happy Thanksgiving. Today I baked Crescent Rolls just because I love the smell of them baking in the kitchen. Whether I put some in the freezer or feed them to the birds, I loved baking them.


Change is the only constant, so I'm happy you're embracing the changing times and continuing a tradition, even if it's different from how it was years ago. Happy Thanksgiving!


What is that feeling, that cozy word from the Danish? Hygge? Your gingerbread house is a way of infusing hygge into your season! What a lovely way to bring those you love into the happiest season. xox


What a meaningful, thought-provoking post. Thank you.
And your Thanksgiving gratitude quote is one of the most poignant I’ve ever read.

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