BC: This year, Frankie and James are making their first house. Katie will be introducing her daughter, Sabine, to gingerbread houses next year. Richard and Betsey introduced DesertRose to gingerbread. Pam introduced 12 new people, in three generations, to building gingerbread houses. Because of your gift so many years ago, hundreds of people have experienced the fun, friendship and creative experience that comes from friends sharing gingerbread houses. | Thanks, Tom! Created by Pam with a little help from her friends.
FC: A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed. | Make Your Own Tradition
1: A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Brooks Adams
2: I don't know what you thought when you picked out my gift that year. Jill remembers a bazaar that was held at the Salem Heights Grange building next to Salem Heights Elementary school. She thought it was a cute gift for your sister. | When you teach your son, | es bound together, engraved in white. Just like what I imagine real house blueprints to look like. | I remember reading the tag to a gift. My brother's scrawl. “Make your own tradition” the tag reads. “Love, Tom ”. Under the cover of the jolly | Christmas wrap, a tube is exposed. Blueprints. The real thing. But blueprints for a gingerbread house. Beautiful, dark blue, two pages bound together, engraved in white. Just like what I imagine real house blueprints look like.
3: A Three Day Process-Rather Prophetic | you teach your son's son. Or your sister's.
4: The hardest part was making reality reflect the internal vision. | Patterns were painstakingly created by tracing the blueprints. Once placed on the dough, they became sticky, then crusty with sugar as we shared the paper. | Friends thought it was amazing that people actually make gingerbread houses from scratch. As though they only existed in storybooks.
5: At the time, I had no plan to use the blueprints, other than to frame them for display. | i loved that the making of the gingerbread pieces itself takes three nights
6: The hardest part is getting the @#$! thing to stay upright!
7: The gingerbread process was great! It's a Wonderful Life playing in the background (almost every year, even now)... I got to build something, which was always fun; every year, as a kid, I would try to do something different.. There have been gingerbread trains, houses, coffeehouses, even a gingerbread computer that I took to my office one year when I worked in Tech Support. | one ofthe visceral memories i have for sure though is peeling up the gingerbread dough from between the house pieces and eating it. mmmm... | i remember thinking that toothpicks were a cheat, but needing to use them anyway. i think one year too we forgot to put a hole in the bottom for a light and had to unconstruct and reconstruct it.
8: Building the houses is such an important holiday memory for me and it was so connected with my love of James (and his family) | knew I would get to eat it on New Year's morning. The eating was always a big event. Waiting for New years day to eat it was the hardest part. The parents got to sleep in, and James and I would watch the Macy's parade and munch on hard gingerbread and stale candy - Pure magic for a kid.
9: . | Making the event a tradition wasn't hard. No matter what, the three day event was eagerly anticipated. Friends joined in the fun and continue to celebrate with us each year.
10: The gift is extant year-round. Why, frosted mini-wheats WOULD make a great snow-covered roof! Flash! Hiking in the summer, the boys observe that broken Neco wafers can be pieced to create walkways! Flash! Cinnamon gummi-bears! Their scent can be added to the bouquet, and create a scene inside the gingerbread house! as an adult, one of the most fun parts is seeing what different people make and how they decorate them. the most fun as an adult was figuring out the smashed jolly ranchers for stained glass windows. while the scalding hot sugar corn syrup mixture was always fun to make, there's something even more satisfying about smashing jolly ranchers with a hammer and then making them into cool windows! I have made gingerbread houses in Oregon, Arizona and Hawaii... I've taken it (the house)to work, displayed it at home... At home with a little light inside, most years. It's a really fun thing to have sitting on your desk in your office, though.
11: Mom came to play every year. She enjoyed the laughter and banter that floated throughout the house as we created the perfect house. When they moved to the apartments, Mom and Dad hosted a gingerbread house decorating party in the multi-purpose room to meet new people and be met by other residents.
12: "There was something so cool about getting to decorate an entire house (not just a cookie). Before that, I had decorated cookies (with my family). And of course I had seen other people's gingerbread houses but had never done my own.
13: So many memories have been made!
14: Life is not the breaths you take, | as a kid, disgustingly enough, the best part was Richard and i demolishing the thing on new year's morning and eating the stale gingerbread pieces with the rock-hard cement frosting and candies in front of the new year parade. i'm surprised we both still have teeth in our head
15: but the moments that take your breath away | I knew I would get to eat it on New Year's morning. The eating was always a big event. Waiting for New years day to eat it was the hardest part. The parents got to sleep in, and James and I would watch the Macy's parade and munch on hard gingerbread and stale candy - Pure magic for a kid. I NEVER sampled it before New Year's morning! Or rather, I usually waited a few weeks before picking at it, but I don't think that I ever really dug into it until new year's, as I risked not only parental but also brotherly wrath.
16: There is always a moment in childhood
17: when the door opens and lets the future in .
18: Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see .
19: With only one child full-time at home, Graydon would take bits of the house in his lunch to school every day. He always made one with us at home and one to take to his Mom's. Even when he's in Arizona for Christmas, he makes another one with Heidi and his brother Gage. Still on Thanksgiving weekend, Betsey, DesertRose and Aja join Graydon and I in the creating - the Tradition is spreading...