Monday, December 14, 2009

1st Annual Decorating of the Gingerbread

Long time, no post.  Seems time goes into warp speed in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  There has been no shortage of inspiration at this time of the year, just a lack of time to write about it!  I think a new tradition was born today, however, and that deserves some attention.  Three friends and I got together to make gingerbread houses.  Though husbands wanted to participate we made it a girls only activity.  That gave us a chance to catch up as we created our masterpieces. 

We chose to focus most of our energies on decorating, so we used pre-made kits.  We have one baker in our group, and making all that gingerbread alone would have been too time consuming.  The kits worked just fine.  They came with candy, but we all pitched in our own sweet accessories.  The required gundrops, M&Ms, candy canes, marshmellows and Chiclets were present.  And just to be different I brought along pretzel sticks and golden puffed cereal.  I used the cereal for a roof, and my friend used the pretzel sticks to create a log cabin motif.  It's fascinating how using the exact same materials, everyone comes up with something different. 

As a general rule we all give each other a hard time, so when someone went outside the bounds of "eye pleasing" there was some good natured ribbing.  My house ended up looking "earthy" with a frightening snowman hanging out in the backyard.  But no one had a  perfect house, and that was what made it so fun.  It's about freeing yourself from the confinements of perfection and just enjoying time together.

The holidays are so stressful for adults because of all the responsibility that falls on us to make the perfect meal, the perfect centerpiece, find and perfectly wrap the perfect gift. It's exhausting.  Maybe we should embrace the spirit of playfulness with all the aspects of holiday preparation.  Then we could enjoy the season like we did as children.  I highly recommend a festive activity with loved ones to help capture the spirit! 

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