The Gingerbread House that David Built – BCE Contest Post #5

gingerbreadhouse2.jpgginergbreadhouse1.jpgA couple weeks ago we took my son to a Christmas festival. They  had a display of decorated Christmas trees and gingerbread houses for sale to raise money for a local charity. My son wasn’t very interested in the trees with their fancy ornaments, but the gingerbread houses captured his imagination. These weren’t just any gingerbread houses. They were works of art, full of intricate detail, down to the tiny red berries on a bush outside the door of one house. Figures made of cookies and candy inhabited the miniature homes, some feasting on a Christmas dinner of sweet confections. One gingerbread structure even resembled a lighthouse.

My son studied carefully each little sculpture, pointing out details on every one with excitement. Then he looked at his dad and I and said, “They’re tiny. Their my size. They’re little like me!” Then of course the inevitable question, “Can I have one?” These extraordinary gingerbread houses came with equally extraordinary price tags. As much as I would have loved to purchase one, and give money to a very worthy charitable cause, they were just out of our price range. So I promised him that we would make a gingerbread house at home. As soon as it was out of my mouth I began to picture the veritable disaster that would ensue, broken walls, a roof with bites taken out of it, frosting everywhere but on the house.

I like to bake, but I am not am not artistically inclined when it come to pastry decorating. I don’t spend hours painting designs on my sugar cookies with frosting, and buying those candy letters at the grocery store is as far as my cake decorating goes. So the more I thought about it, the less sure I was of my ability to pull-off making a gingerbread house, especially with the handicap of an almost three-year-old boy by my side. I wimped out and bought a kit at Walmart. I figured it was probably going to end up smashed on the floor, so I wasn’t going to spend hours rolling, cutting and baking my own pieces.

Well, things went pretty smoothly at first. My son followed my directions, and let me help him apply the frosting and glue the walls and roof together. But then we started putting on the candy. After consuming a few pieces, he started to get wound up and pushed too hard as he stuck on some gumdrops (BCE Contest word of the day is gumdrops), and it came crashing down. Nothing was broken, but the designs I had carefully drawn on with the frosting were crushed and smeared. We got it tacked back together, and I realized any hope of a neatly decorated house was gone. He started sticking candy where ever he wanted, and I even let him wield the pastry bag full of frosting. Somehow we did manage to complete the task with out smashing anything. Although one of the gingerbread residents became a dog snack when he fell into the eager mouth of an opportunistic canine that waited patiently all afternoon under the table for just such an incident.  

Our gingerbread house is a confectionery monstrosity. It has so much “snow” on it that were it a real house it would collapse under the weight. The windows are crooked, candy is haphazardly placed with out rhyme or reason. No one would buy our gingerbread house for even a small charitable donation.

It is perfectly imperfect, the result of my little son’s handiwork. We had so much fun making it together, and when we finished he looked at me smiling, eyes shinning with pride, “It’s pretty Mommie!” To me the memory I have of this will be forever beautiful.  

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One Response to “The Gingerbread House that David Built – BCE Contest Post #5”

  1. Twisted Cinderella Says:

    Very cute!!

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