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A few days ago, I decided to impose a family activity on my unsuspecting family. My mother in law had brought us a gingerbread house kit at Thanksgiving, and amazingly it was all lactose free. Actually, that leads me to wonder how cheap the company that makes these must be. You know it’s all chemicals and water, dressed up to closely mimic the delightful flavor of icing. For once, I was ok with this.
Anyway, I assembled the troops around the kitchen island, with the kids on chairs to reach. Jaymes didn’t quite “get” what the plan was, but when he saw the Box the kit came in, he was all ears. Jason and I opened up the kit and started laying out all the cookie pieces of the house. We were not thrilled to see that both roof sections were cracked in two, presumably a result of having the box thrown into the trunk of the rental car then buried in other stuff. I decided that our wonderful Kodak moment was NOT going to be foiled by broken cookies, and attempted to glue the pieces together with icing. Initially, this worked perfectly.
Neither I, nor Jason, are all that impressive as far as building things goes. As I type this, visions of putting together a swingset, a “simple set pool” (there is nothing simple about it!), and a picnic table float through my mind… And this undertaking was no less… unique. We stood there looking at the box, and looking at the little plastic tray thing that the house is supposed to be built into, and wondering what on earth we were supposed to do. At some point, Jason figured out that it was upside down… To which I replied (as always) “I meant to do that. I was just testing you.”
Got the basic framework of the house up, and let it set for the required 15 minutes. At the end of that 15 minutes, I was thrilled to see the roof pieces seemed to be sticking together, and was convinced that I had triumphed over the forces of evil (uh… the makers of cheaply manufactured gingerbread houses.)
Jason took the task of squirting the icing out onto the various areas on the gingerbread house, and I played referee between the kids frenzied grabs at the various types of candies intended to decorate the house. I made them take turns putting on their candies. Jaymes took his decorating duties VERY seriously, while Sierra was more concerned with devouring three pieces of candy for every one that made it onto the house.
About five minutes into decorating, I started to notice that the roof seemed to be drooping slightly. I kind of hoped it was all in my mind, and ignored it. Another five minutes, and it was pretty obvious the roof was leaning inward in what looked like a very hazardous situation for any little gingerbread people living inside. I told the kids to decorate faster, and manned the camera. Sierra did great decorating carefully, but Jaymes wanted to put candies on with as much force as possible- the last thing this poor gingerbread house needed.
By the time most of the candies had been put on the house, the roof was barely attached, and leaning in at a crazy angle. Jason and I were laughing hysterically as we desperately attempted to finish the project before the inevitable, catastrophic cave-in occurred. We haven’t had fun and laughed like morons in awhile, it was actually a blast.
Once the photos were taken, and proof of our insane gingerbread-house-gone-wrong documented, I gave the kids the go-ahead to start the feeding frenzy. And like starving vultures, they descended upon the gingerbread house with purposeful brutality. It took about… ten minutes for most of the house to be devoured, the discarded ruins of the sad little house lying in delicious rubble on the little plastic tray. Next to a collapsed wall lay a tiny gingerbread man cookie without a head- courtesy of Sierra.
Ah, the joy of a timeless Christmas tradition, made hilarious and horrific by our quirky household. Enjoy the pictures of the carnage- I certainly do!
"Take off your cape and just be a friend."
4 days ago