Friday, December 11, 2015

Baby Jesus and The Gingerbread Boys

Every year for the past 12 years, our family has made mini gingerbread house kits. It's been a fundraising project for our children. They cut the pieces, assemble the candy, mix the frosting mix, pass out the flyers and sometimes stand on the street corner to sell them. They've been very popular ever since that first year. In 2014 we sold 500 kits! It's a huge undertaking for our kitchen and takes a good deal of our time during the Christmas season.

But here we are 9,000 miles away. There's no way it can be done this year. We are taking a break. But we still love the smell of gingerbread, so for family night, I made pieces for a larger house we could decorate together. We spent about $40 on candy to ensure everyone was happy!

I should have taken a picture of the candy assortment we came up with. We couldn't find gumdrops or peppermints. But we found candy canes, Mentos, gummy candies in Christmas shapes, some marshmallows, and some Lifesavers that fizzle in your mouth. Pez was familiar and mini M&Ms, but they were just a lot more expensive here. I really liked the sprinkle covered chocolates called, "Freckles." I bought a bag of M&Ms Toffee Apple flavor because they were green and red. They are $5 for a small bag and don't taste very good, but we were mostly after the color.

Henry has been helping himself to the candy and kangaroos for a few days now. 
He says it's very good. Ha ha. Allen and Henry are the real Gingerbread Boys. They worked together to finish the house with candy when everyone else was ready to move on. 

Adding that Australian touch.

 And, I tried out a special new gingerbread house design.

I like it very much.

I've been using the pictures for this nativity for years and years. This time, I needed a nativity that Henry could hold and manipulate. I simply printed the pictures and taped them to some plastic cups. They stack together easily. I have been using them to tell the story of Jesus' birth to Henry often. Hopefully by Christmas he'll be able to tell the story to us. 

Last week we went to the beach. I started collecting shells to make a nativity, but decided the best setting for the picture was right there on the beach. Millie and I had a great time arranging them in the sand, actually UNDER the water. We had to do it twice because by the time we finished the first one, the tide had gone out and it was half in, half out, of the water. 

So Christmas is here! It feels different because it's warm, the sun stays up longer into the evening, we aren't baking gingerbread like crazy, and we aren't spending loads of money buying presents for everyone on the planet. We are keeping the presents to a minimum and enjoying more time together. We aren't missing anything! We love it. 

Merry Christmas to you!

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