Christmas Traditions – Part One

Christmas might be my favourite time of year. I love summertime, and I enjoy the springtime, but there’s nothing like Christmas. Living on the West Coast, we don’t usually have a white Christmas, and we all get very excited at the first sign of snow. But even if it is a green Christmas, it’s still the best! So, this will likely not be the only post I write about Christmas this year…

My family, especially my mom and I, are very into Christmas. Our house gets totally decked out in lights and decorations – it looks like a Christmas wonderland. We have bins upon bins upon bins of delightful Christmas decor, lights, figurines, stockings, tablecloths, you name it. Every year, we haul the bins down sometime in late November or early December and get started. It always so great to unpack everything again, and look at all our Christmas memories for past years.

Today I would like to share with you one of my favourite traditions. This is one that we sadly won’t be able to do this year, at least not like we usually do. Gingerbread houses! As you have perhaps read in my Halloween blog post, my family shares lots of traditions with Dawn’s family. Dawn is one of my parent’s best friends, her youngest son is quite close with my brother, and our families have always shared the holidays and special events together. For many years, we have made gingerbread houses together in December. Dawn would always supply the gingerbread, and she’d come up with new configurations and plans every year. We always had trouble getting the houses to stay upright, so she was always trying to make something new and more stable for us. My mom would supply the candy and icing. This meant we got to go to the bulk section of the grocery store with her, and go nuts! We picked out everything we could think of that could go on a gingerbread house – smarties, ju jubes, licorice, chocolate chips, skittles, coconut, candy canes, and more. Then Mom would make a giant batch of icing, often in multiple colours, and we would go to town!

Every year we would have a blast. Inevitably someone’s house would always fall down and someone else’s would turn into a massive pile of candy, and we’d just spend a couple hours being silly, sugar high and laughing until we had some candy covered “houses”. I say “houses” because I seem to remember one year where someone attempted to make the Eye of Sauron out of candy and gingerbread.

Last year, we almost didn’t do this because Dawn’s daughter wasn’t going to make it home for the holidays. But at the last minute she decided she couldn’t be away and came out to Salt Spring and we made it happen. I loved that this tradition was still so important to all of us, even now. Last Christmas, the youngest one of us was 18 and the oldest was I think 25. I think it’s pretty special that even at that age we still wanted to get together and make gingerbread houses like when we were little.

This year, I don’t know if we’ll be able to carry on the tradition. Dawn has moved away and her kids are busy and in different cities. I imagine we will continue to make gingerbread houses with other friends, but it might not be the same.

I have searched all through my photos and I can’t seem to find any of the gingerbread houses, so I have included photos of other Christmas-y things at my parent’s house.


3 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions – Part One

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