I’ve never been a huge fan of the gingerbread house making holiday tradition.
You’re gonna judge, but I don’t like doing really messy, labor intensive activities with my kids. Mostly because I don’t like doing messy, labor intensive activities at all, but also because they rarely seem to enjoy them either. Usually, they moan about having to be involved (particularly that crotchety middle school one) and then, they get bored of me and my jolly-making ways before I even have time to get everything ready.
Or someone gets punched.
And then, one of them is crying while the other is screaming, “HE STARTED IT!”
At which point, the dog jumps on the table and frantically gobbles up every single edible item in sight including the entire roll of aluminum foil. And, I’m calling the vet to get her stomach pumped.
And of course, the gingerbread catches on fire in the oven while we’re gone.
Fortunately the house doesn’t burn down because DudeDad is there shaking his head and throwing baking soda all over the place, but still.
Call me a Scrooge if you want, but this is NOT my idea of a happy holiday memory.
Since that experience is largely in the past (and slightly embellished: I didn’t get her stomach pumped because, seriously, that is expensive and she has an iron gut anyway and really, why don’t you have better instincts you would SO be dead in the wild. The gingerbread only burned up because I was in the yard trying to force the pooch to poop), and because the 5 year old was begging me, and I have all of this latent Elf on the Shelf guilt, and the girl across the street said she’d totally come help, I decided to try my hand at this activity again.
I let the 12 year old Dude supervise, but from his room while listening to music with his headphones on. And, I let the 8 year old play in the snow because, well, playing in the snow is just more fun than building a stupid gingerbread house with your baby brother and your girly neighbor and your mom who is just eating the crap outta all of the icing anyway.
I thought about baking the gingerbread myself, but figured I’d skip that step because we like already had the kit anyway. What? It was a gift! People who know me, know me.
But, I did make a batch of my world famous sugar cookies to keep us company! And we used the fancy new Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine I was sent to review (this is code for free, friends*) to make hot chocolate with.
Let me just say, I love the versatility of this coffee machine (you can make hot chocolate, and lattes, and even chai tea lattes in addition to your regular morning cups of coffee). It’s easy to use and it allows you to enjoy perfectly brewed, coffee house quality drinks right at home. Plus it’s the sized right for counter tops (small).
It’s so easy to use even a child can work it. Which is exactly what they did at our house during the snow-day-gingerbread-making extravaganza.
They brewed their own cups of peanut butter hot chocolate (just add a teaspoon of peanut butter and stir while it’s hot then top it off with some shaved chocolate for extra happiness!) and seemed to enjoy it nearly as much as they enjoyed decorating their gingerbread houses pieces. Except for the liking-icing-off-of-their-fingers part, that was pretty much their favorite thing ever.
#3 had a blast making his gingerbread train parts thingy (I literally could not figure out how to make it stand, so we um, gave up and just said they were made to lay flat)…
while my pseudo-daughter constructed a lovely gingerbread mansion…
proving yet again that I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A CRAFT-FABULOUS DAUGHTER TO BRING LIGHT AND HANDMADE JOY INTO MY WORLD!
You know, like in addition to The Dudes, not instead of.
*Thinking about getting a Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine for someone on your holiday list (or yourself!)? Use this coupon code to save 20%: GustoGift!