Friday, 18 December 2009

That time of the year again....

(Before I share this year's gingerbread house with you a quick update on the mom cardigan -- progress is slow! Yesterday in the airport lounge I triumphantly got to the last row of the back -- only to discover I'd missed 10 decreases in the underarm shaping. Aaaaarrrrgggghhh! I have given up on finishing it before I arrive and have accepted that I'm going to have to undertake stealth knitting at night when she's asleep in order to have it ready for the 25th.

Now back to the real reason for this post!)

It is that time of the year - when I drop my knitting needles and yarn for icing sugar and gingerbread. In preparation for the construction party gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve and I created a slide show of photos of all of the houses built since I began hosting the annual event in 1991. It was a great hit on the day as it played on the big screen in the corner of the room while we got on with this year's masterpiece. The children in particular loved seeing the houses built when they were younger -- and seemed amazed to discover that the tradition was much older than them!!

The order of events remained the same as in previous years. Lots of gingerbread, icing sugar and TONS of sweets mixed in with as much Christmas music* as we can find and a bit of champagne for the adults.

Every year I'm amazed at how creative everyone is. Check out the greenhouse devised by the marvellous Mads (9). (Standing beside it is one of the cutest snowmen ever -- created by the scrumptuous Suzy.) You can't tell from the photos but inside the greenhouse there are benches with lots of beautiful flowers.

Through the years the core team (me, best friend Caroline and her husband Pat)(and each of the minis as they arrived) has remained constant but different people have joined in over the years. Most gingerbread house virgins tend to sit silently by for the first 30 minutes or so and then gingerly pick up a sweet, find some icing no one else is using and heh presto suddenly we have a car...or a tree...or a llama.

I couldn't say that everything we make is immediately identifiable without some explanation -- but sometimes that is half the fun. And sometimes things aren't even identifiable with LOTS of explanation and those are often my favourites! (Also, the rules are that all mistakes can be eaten -- so they are also quite yummy!)

Children have their own logic -- Louis (7) for example made a great little igloo and then at the last minute added the snowballs all over it. Did I feel silly when Louis patiently explained that that is how the penguins store their snowballs for snowball fights.

And speaking of penquins how fantastic is this penguin Caroline created out of licorice allsorts?

Gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve created this amazing well -- marvellous Mads supplied the bucket.

Around the side of the house you find Pat' contribution this year -- a lovely river complete with a dock, a sailboat ....

...and the loch ness monster (created by my friend Shirl).

If that poor penquin sailor (another Caroline creation) didn't have enough to worry about with the loch ness monster ....

it seems he's about to be attacked by a shark!

And if that doesn't say Christmas I don't know what does!!

That's it for me for this year. I'm about to enter the no-internet land my parents inhabit but I'll be back in 2010 (eek 2010!) to fill you in how I got on with the Christmas knitting. Until then I hope you all have a lovely holiday season however you spend it!


LittleBerry said...

Love the post :o) theres some ingnious creations going on there with the penguins, nessy but I do love the snowball storage igloo :o)

Hope you managed to get the cardigan knit in time for the 25th...

Many best wishes for a healthy & prosperous 2010 - eek!

Linda said...

Thanks so much for sharing this tradition. We've never tried to make gingerbread anything but it looks like a lot of fun. Have a great holiday.

Linda said...

A totally inspiring gingerbread house, its fantastic! Have a super holiday and Christmas. x

Batty said...

I love all of those gingerbread creations! The greenhouse and Nessie are my favorites... such creativity!