Christmas, Parenting

Gingerbread: A Conversation Starter

I snatch the best ideas of others. One with unexpected results was giving gingerbread kits for Christmas. (For best results, wait until your youngest is at least ten unless your children work in pairs. Building requires skill and patience.)

Gathered around the kitchen table with busy hands, the boys cracked jokes, teased good-naturedly, and supplied us with joy we had not experienced recently. Our busyness and their reticence to share had increased as they aged.

We learned much about our sons. As their tongues loosened, unknown adventures were revealed. Two studied British Literature at a local private school. Ninety minutes of building and decorating gave us a semesters’ worth of funny stories.  The two who shared an art history class entertained us by deliberately attributing erroneous architecture vocabulary to their houses.

What did our sons learn along the way? Aim for the most candy per inch of gingerbread so you have the greatest reward on Demolition Day. Demolition Day was an event itself with special china and hot tea to accompany our gingerbread gluttony.


We continued building and demolishing during the college years until family time was too scarce.

Has a Christmas tradition enhanced your family’s closeness?

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