decorated gingerbread house candy house

Gingerbread Dreams

Last week I had the most ridiculous 1950s fantasy holiday moment ever. I am not even joking. Santa himself could have shown up and I would have told him that I’m all set this year.  I decided to be insane and make my mom’s gingerbread houses this year, all five of them of course, with some cookies because, well, COOKIES.

Miss O and her dad were decorating the tree and listening to Christmas music. Miss O is now obsessed with Frosty the Snowman and must hear at least two versions every day. Her little voice was belting it out while she hung every ornament on the tree on the same branch. Hubs dutifully answered each time she held one up and asked “Who is that?” I let her help me cut out some cookies and she had the biggest smile. So did I. I know it was darling because I felt it. Mission accomplished! Almost.

Miss O and her cousin A were going to visit Santa at the mall Saturday and I thought it would be oh so magical to decorate houses after what will undoubtedly make us wish we had never attempted such a thing. Because waiting in line to see a total stranger isn’t hard enough on two toddlers and their parents, we have to throw a messy activity involving sugar into the mix. Perhaps I didn’t think this one through completely…

Last year Miss O’s first introduction to Mr. Clause and his mall minions resulted in a flat out, bum on the floor “NO MOMMY!” I felt bad for Santa.  That’s a lot of rejection coming from a little person. Cousin A had absolutely no fear. He got plopped in Santa’s lap like it was the most natural thing on Earth. This did nothing to improve Miss O’s impression of her experience.

This year she giggles whenever she sees Santa, so we’re dumb enough to give it another shot. She’s still wary of new people, so you never know what you’re going to get from her. I was lucky to get her in the clothes I picked out. She naturally thought they were made of lava and threw herself the ground crying as if her last hope of salvation was buried deep within the carpet. She finally relented when I told her that we dress up for Santa so we can show him how good we’ve been all year. Yes, I know, I’m a horrible person. You should know that by know if you’ve actually been reading any of this blog.

Our visit to Santa went pretty much the way I suspected with a little less tantrum, thank goodness! She wanted nothing to do with it the second we got to the point of no return in the line and then we got to spend the next ten minutes keeping her calm in line so she didn’t freak out the other kids or ruin it for Cousin A, who still had zero problems marching up like he owned the North Pole. Oh well, at least she wore what I wanted her to and we got a great shot of them on the bench in line. Mommy got a trip to Sephora for being such a good girl and not forcing Miss O to suffer Santa’s torturous photo session, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The gingerbread houses held together for the most part and we managed to have a lovely time decorating. By we, I mean the kids did four cookies while Hubs, Uncle B and I worked industriously on our tiny candy neighborhood until Aunt L took the minions downstairs to play. I realized that perhaps that was too much holiday cheer for one day. I got my house. I’m good. Maybe next year that can be two different weekends, if I continue to attempt the Santa thing at all. Clearly Miss O has a firm opinion on bearded men in red suits.

Three lovely decorated gingerbread houses.

Mine’s the one in the middle. Same house for almost 40 years. Yes, I am old.

So here we are two days before Christmas and I have an errand list a mile long, my mother arrives at the airport tonight and I am calmly avoiding all of it by writing a long overdue blog post that I started last week. As is true of most things surrounding a holiday or event around here, the Christmas cards are almost finished – I swear I ordered stamps online this year but they still are not here, I have most of what I need for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner (which is also my father-in-law’s birthday) except for the turkey a few sides and a cake. Yep, we do it up like that, because there’s just not enough going on this week.

Through all of it I have held on to my magical moment in the kitchen and it still makes me smile. Miss O has had so much fun listening to music and seeing the lights in the neighborhood. We’ve had fun sharing our favorite TV specials and traditions with her and learning what it means to expand those traditions and create new ones. If we forget the cake, I know we’ll still have a good time and as my family says, we’ll have a great story.

Here’s hoping you and your family have a lovely holiday season. I can’t wait to see what the new year holds!

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