Saturday, September 1, 2007

Gingerbread Traditions

One of the things I love about Christmas as a girl was GINGERBREAD! A gingerbread house with a gumdrop roof could stop me in my tracks as I would dream of a life in gingerbreadland. Now that I am married with my own family our tradition has become gingerbread.

When I was a girl the tradition in our family was to make sugar cookie cut outs and paint them, yes can you believe it?! We would make and frost cookies with a glaze frosting but the hard part came when we would have to wait over night and let the glaze harden. The next day we would mix a palette of food coloring that would make Picasso jealous. Then we would take watercolor paint brushes and paint our cookies. My mother is an artist and so many of the activities we did as children centered around creative projects and creative expression. It was great fun and sometimes they were too beautiful to eat especially the ones my mother painted, we all coveted her cookies.

We have done many creative things with gingerbread, parties with friends and family, one year we made clay gingerbread houses and each of us decorated our house just as we liked. This year I used the houses to make a gingerbread village in my kitchen window to delight visitors and friends when they came to visit. It was quite fun and turned out to my surprise to be a hit with young and old alike.

A new tradition has been born! I hope to add one element of surprise each year.Another idea I put into action this year was to have a hospitality tray. I took a shallow rectangle basket and filled it with my special christmas teas, hot chocolate, my christmas mugs and cups, my gingerbread teacozy and a milk glass dish filled with satsuma oranges,cookies or candies. Then when we had visitors or my kids wanted a cup of something yummy they could help themselves. This was a fun way to teach my kids hospitality. I made sure to restock the hot chocolate frequently.

This too I'm sure has become a new tradition. The kids enjoyed being able to have hot chocolate when they wanted which is something that doesn't happen at other times of the year so this was special.

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