At the end of November, I wrote a post about our changing family's need to adapt some of our holiday traditions now that our oldest daughter is away at college, the rest of the family is super busy, both parents are spread too thin and the boys here are pretty apathetic about maintaining them. My dilemma has been that my youngest daughter is still very interested in these traditions and she deserves to have them.
Interestingly, when I looked back, I realized this has been a struggle even before my daughter went to college! I had forgotten that in 2017 I had written a post about which traditions to save, skimp or skip on that year. The last entry says that we will never skip our favorite holiday party with friends where we smash our sometimes over-the-top annual gingerbread creation.
Well in 2019 that was exactly what we had to skip . . . even though I started reaching out to all of the friends in mid-November, there was not a single date that worked for everyone. I proposed an alternative to my family: since we couldn't have them all here at once, we'd be sure to make plans with each one of them over the holiday. Additionally, instead of them coming here to help us smash our giant gingerbread, we'd bring the gingerbread to each of them. (Also I gave the friends a date for the 2020 party to put on their calendars NOW.)
It took a little while to get to visit all of our friends, especially with the weather ruining some of our initial plans. But now that they've all been gifted with their own little gingerbread houses, I can share the pictures with you:
1. The original, made together while our oldest was home for Thanksgiving. Our home is on the right, a building on her campus is on the left:
Our family's real-life rainbow directional pole (top) was recreated with the last names of our friends that we were gifting gingerbread too (bottom)
We hosted Christmas Day for my side of the family this year and the kids got to smash and eat these with their cousins.
Now for the individual houses of our friends:
2. This is the only one that had any sort of real personalization for our dear friends who have named their home "The Hive" and might be a little obsessed with Volvos:
3. Next comes this one that helps to prove my point that we should stop calling them "gingerbread" houses and just call them candy houses . . .
4. Exhibit B:
5. Last but not least, this one that was decorated by our oh-so-witty and irreverent oldest son, with the wrong date on it and a person that wasn't supposed to look like the President but sort of does anyway:
Did I mention that the houses we gave to our friends were also sort of piñatas? As if there wasn't enough candy on the outside, we surprised our friends by filling them with candy on the inside:
If you'd like our family's recipe and tips, see my article on the Farmers' Almanac website.