Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Accidental Tradition

You know how, back when you didn't actually have any children, you had these visions of all of the lovely family traditions you would create/discover/carry forward once you had kids? And then you had kids. And, somehow, traditions were born that absolutely did NOT receive the Mother's Stamp Of Approval, but they somehow manage to keep popping up year after year? This is one of those traditions.

I'm not sure exactly how it started. Okay, yes, I do know exactly how it started. It started with me stupidly taking our youngest child to a craft store after all of the Christmas Stuff had been put out on display (probably sometime in July). Said child spotted the Build Your Own Gingerbread House kit prominantly displayed in one of those Stacked Cube O Merchandise that you bump your cart into in the middle of the largest aisle in the store. And, of course, "we" had to buy it.

I say "we" because I, personally, was somewhat horrified by the thought of what, exactly, was in that "gingerbread", and how long it had been sitting in a warehouse. The oh-so-low price of $9.99 did not inspire confidence in the nutritional value of said gingerbread. But, after me saying "no" about 14 times, and running out of viable arguments against taking one of these kits home, said child and I agreed to a compromise whereby he paid for said kit with his allowance.

That was a few years ago, and, somehow, now I am paying for kits (yes, that would be a noun in the plural). And I even allow my children to EAT said kits after they have been assembled.

So, here's what this year's Gingerbread House Project looked like, with SIX kids assembling it.

Phase One: Using copious amounts of icing, assemble the structural elements of said house, preferably letting said icing on each stage solidify before moving on to next stage.

Phase Two: Kids all agree on overall design of house, and who will be implementing each aspect of said design.

Just kidding. Actually, I assigned Thomas (the eldest of six Cubs) the task of applying concrete.....ummmmm, I mean each bit of candy, as said candy was presented for icing by each child in turn, beginning with the youngest and progressing through the Pack to the oldest, then repeat. Miraculously, this actually worked, with minimal adult supervision.

Thomas weilding icing cone, and offering suggestion as to placement.

The beginnings of a plan.

Okay, at this point I had to run out to take the dog to the vet (whole other, way long story), so I missed the bulk of the Decorating Phase. But, when I returned, the masterpiece had been completed, and no blood had been shed (that I could see). The entire project seems to have been a success.....

Front of house.

Side of house.

Other side of house.

And, best of all......the garage!

Good job, Bear Cubs!

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