50/52: Penitential Gingerbread Houses

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Every year gingerbread houses seem like such a good idea. Every year we end up with whining about somebody getting more of X piece of candy, somebody using all the icing, somebody's house being bigger... This year I got a big kit for them to do all together, and then found a kit of 4 mini houses. "Perfect!" I thought, "One of them can do the big house, and then the others can each have their own little house!"

Ha. There was fighting about who would get to do the big house, complaining while they had to wait for the little ones to be put together (we should have constructed them in advance!), collapses of houses when certain children couldn't WAIT to decorate them and didn't let the icing dry, and a whole lot of candy snuck into mouths that never made it to the houses. Now we watch the houses carefully until "Gingerbread Day" on December 26th, which is the day I will give them each their house, let them take it outside and eat as much of it as they want, and then throw the rest to the chickens. It's a GREAT way to get rid of them, because the kids pick at them for as long as they have the energy to pick at stale candy and rock-hard frosting, and then they're out of the house forever!

Last year we did graham cracker houses and there was much less crying... I think we'll go back to those next year, and have very low expectations. And next time I think, "Yes, THIS is the year to include the toddler!" I will remind myself that no, that's actually a terrible idea. These are best done during naptime for anyone 3-and-under. Thankfully my sister was here to help. And it certainly was penitential!

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