Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the season for gingerbread

by June

Let's face it, by this date on the calendar, 'tis the season for collapse. Those of us crazy enough to undertake a homemade Christmas (on any scale) are wishing for...surrender. From the flour that clogs the drain. From the piles of fabric that topple. From the unsent Christmas cards that taunt us when we close our red eyes past midnight. Who wouldn't wish the constant struggle to be over?

But how sad to wish it over. These precious hours are never coming again. Never.

I always resolve going into this season that I will enjoy it more. And I have learned to do that by being more realistic about what I can and can't accomplish and by demanding of myself that I see what is before my eyes, which is to say...two darling children who embrace it all. When the needle pops out of the sewing machine, it is an adventure to Blossom and Fern. "Now we get to learn how to put it back together!" When the two beep-beep-beeping timers are dueling, I forget which one goes with which oven. My girls don't. They delight in keeping me straight. Late nights when I topple into the lap of my big chair and grow still for the first time since I left my bed, they appear. Still awake! Still in full vigor in their footy jammies! They snuggle up with me and ask (again), "When are we going to read Scrooge?"

We haven't re-read our Dickens yet this year. We shall, my dears. We shall. But we do have the gingerbread pieces baked for another family tradition that always signals the beginning of the fun part of Christmas, the relaxing part, the joyous part...the part where we four are together and staying that way.

The girls will pipe together their houses and decorate them. And those sweet little houses will be the centerpiece of the holiday table...and our holiday home.

We've taken to giving homemade gingerbread kits to friends we know will love the experience as much as we do. Inspired by Martha Stewart's version, we use our own cast-iron mold (one of our treasures). We put all the gingerbread in a gift tin or basket with some royal icing mix and some candy for decorating.

It's a gift that fills our home with the cinnamon-nutmeg-gingery scent of Christmas itself and fills us with anticipation for the hour that is coming...it is coming...the hour when we will put aside our work and take up our play. Then, Christmas arrives.


Hullabaloo Homestead said...

What fun your girls are! I always have to brace myself when I hear pitter patters down the hall after I already completed bedtime 20 minutes ago. But you are right, we will never have these moments again, so we need to embrace them all we can! Would you care to share your gingerbread recipe? We are gluten free and it would be spectacular to adapt it and actually be able to make gingerbread houses! Thanks!


Tan Family said...

Beautiful gingerbread house! We are still trying to find the perfect vegan recipe for gingerbread.

A Friend Across the Miles said...

How is it that every year I wish the moments away, only to want them back as soon as they're gone? Thank you for reminding me to cherish every moment, in whatever form it comes.


Wren said...

Boy.. you can say that again. Every year I think I am going to get a grip and every year it's a down hill slide. I am with Camie.. thank you for reminding me to cherish the MOMENT. Can I just tell you how much a love your gingerbread houses??? My aunt used to send us a box at Christmas time filled with wrapped dime store trinkets. We would each open a little pile of treasures and at the bottom of the box would be a gingerbread house. Shipped from California. It never tasted to good. We would gnaw on that thing for hours.... Ahhh the memories... I can still smell it!!

sarah said...

Atleas your gingerbread house is still standing.. ours on the other hand fell OFF of the table and Winnie ate it! We had to make another! Sugar syrup here we come.. works like a charm!

Magnolia Handspun said...

So nice...I read your beautifully written post and I just wish I could take it all in and enjoy... Sophia and I made a gingerbread house, while she was putting the finishing touches the roof caved in. We put it on the dining room table so I could wipe her tears and Mimi our cat started eating it....grrr.
Good thing Sarah had bought me a premade gingerbread kit from Sweden. I am going to look into that cast iron mold...how smart is that?
You and your family just know how to spread good cheer. I feel more Christmassy already.
A big hug to you June and your beautiful family wishing you a Merry Christmas.
God Jul.

Country Girl said...

Love the gingerbread house. That reminds me I forgot to get Luke a kit....ooops. I really want one of those molds!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Dawn Suzette said...

What a wonderful gift and tradition...
I just got caught up... looks like a beautiful holiday season at your house!
Wishing you and yours a Very! Very! Happy Holiday!

Catherine said...

What a great gift idea! I LOVE your mold! Where did you purchase it? Your girls are pretty amazing! They are such great teachers! It seems so easy for them to surrender and enjoy the moment! Merry Christmas to your sweet family, June!

RunninL8 said...

Thanks for this REAL post! Similar sentiments here. But each year seems to get better and better. I've lessened the pressure on myself to do EVERYTHING. I've felt free after dropping certain things in order to make roon for new ideas-things that just resonate better for our celebraations. And each year I get closer and closer to being more organized and getting things done in a more timely manner. Maybe by the time the kids graduate highschool....

Theresa said...

nice blog!

a tasteful garden said...

happy new year June! i hope you and your family had a very lovely holiday season. cheers to a fabulous new year. may it be filled with much joy and contentment.

Shaheen said...

Wow that gingerbread house kit is really cool. I think I would have to get one, should I ever attempt making my own.

Happy New Year to you.

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