Sunday, December 20, 2009

I See Why Hansel and Gretel Got Into Trouble

Every year at Christmas time we make gingerbread houses. Well, technically they are graham cracker houses but they're still fun. Basically what happens is I go to the store and buy $4897 worth of candy. Then my girls spend approximately 4 hours creating and decorating their houses and in the final thirty minutes all the sugar consumed while creating and decorating kicks in and everyone feels overwhelmed by the disaster that is the kitchen and then whew! they're done. Great activity for a snow day.

We've learned thru the years which candy works best for a particular project...

We like to use fruit stripe gum to make cute shutters but couldn't find any this year so we tried sugar wafer cookies instead. And we used mini pretzels for the fencing. By the way, pretzels are an essential ingredient in gingerbread house construction...they help ease the sugar high that results after you've eaten one or two or maybe a hundred pieces of candy.

And here's another essential ingredient...

the mobile phone...gotta have that handy because 327 text messages an important call could come in every 30 seconds at any time

Candy makes this one really really happy. And Frank Lloyd Wright's got nothin' on her...she made a 60's style house this year

I love the trees which are ice cream cones painted with icing and rolled in green sugar

Daughter2 almost threw in the towel during the construction phase as she tried to cut graham crackers to precisely fill the eaves in the roof

but she persevered

and I love the roof on the finished product

My girls are nearly all grown up. They are college students with busy lives away from home. But there are some things you just never outgrow...and for that I am thankful.


  1. How fun and sweet and wonderful for the three of you to have that tradition!

  2. My girls have made gingerbread houses since they were little girls. And it was also a tradition that I did with my 3 year old pre-school class when I taught. I was always so amazed at the creativity in designing and decorating the houses. Our funniest story about gingerbread houses was one year when we were keeping my niece's miniature schnauzer, Jessie. We went out to dinner one night and Jessie ate the entire gingerbread village that we had sitting out on the coffee table. That royal icing is hard as a rock. I'm surprised that she didn't have a major stomach ache. Love your girls' gingerbread houses! Love & blessings from NC!

  3. What a fantastic & fun idea! I'm doing this next year, becaue you and I both know you can't find Kraft graham crackers here. Oh, but since my aunt is coming, maybe she'll bring a couple of boxes over. Hmm. Do you know if she can carry them on the plane with here. I still don't truly know the rules of bringing food over. Is it allowed?

    Anyway, I love your girls' creations. Did you make one, too, Joyce? I love being creative so I would have to make one as well. :-)


  4. This craft is on my list for the week. I think I have a box or twelve of stale graham crackers that could be put to use in this endeavor.

  5. I want to do this! But when my kids are older. Right now it would be way too much work!

  6. This is way too fun, thanks so much for sharing and giving me hope that my kids will still do crafty stuff with me when they are older!

  7. I love these! The graham cracker houses are a tradition I passed on to my kids, too...I can only hope that they'll be interested in continuing as long as your daughters have.

    I wanted to let you know, too, that I have a blog award for you. Posts like these never fail to make me smile, so whether you choose to use the award or not, I wanted to let you know that you brighten my day!