Monday, December 17, 2007

Sweet Diversions

I don't know what possessed me to call friends over, but I have no regrets. We finally made time and squeezed in our annual gingerbread decorating party. It's our family tradition, having friends over and we bequeath them a kit and we offer them hot glue for assembly and food for their appetites, and, in recent years, we slip "Elf" in the player. And then it's sweet creativity and sugary abandon for the rest of the evening!

Alex worked on an Ikea house, so he could, at long last, try skipping the hot glue, and go all icing. He had great success with this, though we did have to modify the very thick icing.

I whipped-up a little hot glue and graham cracker creation just for Maria to decorate. Why hot glue? It's fast and it holds, and we never eat our houses. That's how we do it.

Our friends, Adam, Anne and Jacob, voted to go with an all icing construction too. Patiently they waited out the 15 minute drying time... alas, in the end, the icing was less than effective, so we came in with a last minute hot glue fix on the roof. It's like retrofitting, which is something Californians are quite accustomed to.

Mitchell and William worked together as a dream team... I think they could enter a Food Network Challenge!

Without debate or conflict, they quietly set to making a very thoughtfully decorated gingerbread masterpiece.

Maria scored points for patience and novice skill. She even endured the dreaded sticky fingers! And then she discovered they were sweet and sticky fingers... hmmm, not bad!

She really loved this decorating business.

Max was disappointed that Mom was too lazy to let him mix 4 different colored icings this year. I won't apologize: I didn't have my partner and fellow clean-up man, Geoff, this time, so I meant to keep it simple... simpler... somewhat.

Mitchell could not believe that we never eat our houses and my boys could not comprehend wanting to eat the houses. They do look good enough to eat, but it's just not part of our tradition.

The *L* Team: Jacob, Anne and Adam. Their house is going to smell so good and gingery!

Our house smells good and gingery too.

Maria was so happy this morning when she got to show her daddy her house.

I found another old post about our gingerbread traditions, from 2003,, but I need to unlock all the pictures... that might not happen too soon, but I'll try. (Update: I fixed the photo links. Good grief that was hard.) Now, I am off to make tamales!

Update part 2, with a part 3 in the works:

Max wanted to see the photos of gingerbreads past, so we went searching. No digital before 2003. We covered 2004, in this link. I didn't take pictures last year... shocking! So, that leaves 2005: We were in the Treehouse and... well, here are the photos...

Oh my goodness... such wonderful memories.


Missy said...

mmmmm!!! They do look good enough to eat. My kiddies don't eat the gingerbread part but I have caught them popping off the gumballs ;-)

It looks like all your guests had a wonderful time. What a treat you provide!

nikkipolani said...

Oh my goodness! What a fun tradition! The houses look fabulous :-) I only made a very small amount of icing for decorating gingerbread and sugar cookies - there's still colored sugary grit all over the kitchen....

Julie said...

My kids said they couldn't believe you use hot glue on your houses, while picking little bits of ours.

Janece said...

Looks like a wonderful, sticky, sweet mess! Nothing could be better! I wish we could have participated in the tradition with you!

No Ordinary Moment

calamitykim said...

I used to go visit the Gingerbread houses every year at The Grove Park Inn and it was always so amazing to me! I have never made one. I really enjoy seeing your pictures, though. I am going to go clean-up my craft room. I had to catch up here. Love to all. k. said...

OH! How fun!!! I want to make one now toooo! I almost bought a kit, I should have!! And look at how much that little girl has grown! Oh, all the happy kids! Just wonderful!!!!

Shay said...

I can't seem to organize diddly at this time of year, and you have people over to decorate gingerbread houses. I'm jealous.

I'm also hoping a little bit of the rain they are predicting for SoCal heads your way this week!

Tracy said...

Oh, that looks like such fun! Such super, pretty, delicious houses! Wish I could have been there--LOL! I have never actually made a gingerbread house. My family did not have that I love seeing everyone else's! hehehe...May your sweet, happy days continue withougt end ((HUGS))

Tarie said...

That is one AWESOME family tradition! I haven't made a gingerbread house in years. *jealous* But I still EAT gingerbread every holiday season. Hahaha.