Christmas season is upon us, and one of the delightful things about this season is the many opportunities it holds for making lasting good memories.

Christmastime gingerbread houses

Two handmade gingerbread houses

Gingerbread House Memories

Creating a gingerbread house is one traditional, and super fun way to pull in many of our favorite things: the delicious aroma of the gingerbread, the visions of sugarplums in the form of applied candies, creating things in miniature. It is whimsical, homey, and has a touch of fantasy all at once.

The amount of time and work involved depends solely on the choice of the maker, nowadays. We once had to bake all the gingerbread parts and assemble them carefully, but today with the many kits available it is quick and simple.

Of course, the kits are lacking in the creativity and detail of expert bake and craft mavens, but their easiness and convenience make a premier craft activity for children.

My mother and I made some of the home baked gingerbread houses in my youth. I still remember decorating upside down cones with icing and candies for the Christmas trees outside the house. We used “Necco” candies for roof tiles… it was quite an undertaking! But you see, here I am, a sixty something grandmother, with vivid and happy memories of that Christmas project of long ago.

Kits Make It Easy

More recently, when the grandchildren were here, I had purchased a kit for them to do up in the manner they wished. Everything was included and the work was quick, which suited the schedule and their attention spans. The result was no piece of artwork, but it was immense fun!

I plan to do the same this year. They can take more time, but for the short time they are here, the simplicity of a ready-made kit is ideal.

There are so many options, from plain cookie and icing ones available at Ikea to more traditional ones from Wilton online, or at most Walmart stores. I see them offered in many stores!

Of course, if you plan to eat your project, I would definitely make them from scratch.  There used to be a page online that was the most complete set of directions. I have a recipe and edited some of the instructions included with it for making your own from scratch.

Whether you decide to make your own cookie construction in your kitchen, or assemble a simple store bought one, this is a wonderful activity to add some priceless memories this Christmas.

 

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