Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guest Post Christmas Traditions: Wright Vinyl Sign

Until Christmas, I'll be having fun guests as part of "Homemade in December."
Anyone is welcome to link up their Christmas Projects at our Christmas Link Carnival.
This weeks' theme on my blog is Traditions, and we welcome Tam from Wright Vinyl Sign.

Don't you just love the holidays! One of my favorite things about the holidays are the traditions each family has. One of our most fun traditions is making gingerbread houses with my mom. Last year I think she said she made 60 houses. She starts making them the week of Thanksgiving and calls all of her grandkids to see how many she needs to make and who will be there. You don't have to be a 'blood' relative of grandma to get to make a gingerbread house. You just have to know the right person. :) She makes them out of real, homemade gingerbread...a recipe she has had for a long time. Then, each family that comes brings yummy things to decorate the houses with. For instance, one family might bring cookies or crackers or cereal for the roof, another will bring candy...and the kids have as much fun tasting the candy as they do putting it on their houses. The youngest child to make one last year was six months old. And boy did he have fun! (His mom and grandma weren't too happy with the sugar high he had...but he sure had fun.) Some houses are simple and each year the kids who watched the older kids the year before make intricate details...request special things for their houses and become more and more creative with each passing year. Grandma has a habit of laughing really hard when she gets tired and it is often very day she laughed so hard she just slid down the wall she was leaning on. It's so contagious that everyone in the room has to laugh - even if they don't know what she is laughing about. What a blast....and for the first time in a long time...I will miss it this year, because I have to work. I'm putting my daughters in charge of keeping the kids in line and making sure that grandma eats and doesn't fall over with exhaustion...laughter is okay though.

This year - it took 50 lbs of flour, 50lbs of powdered sugar, 15 lbs of shortening, a few gallons of molasses and lots and lots of candy, cookies and crackers. (We don't know where all of those kids come from? Each year it seems to grow and no one has any new babies. :)

The tradition continued this year and was no different from any other year. Grandma made a whopping 70 houses this year!! She is amazing. You can see from the photos that each person there had to take part - whether it was tasting and decorating or helping the younger ones decorate. You see - once it's in your blood - it's always in your blood. Decorating a gingerbread house in this way can become quite addicting. You feel it in the air as it draws nearer and nearer to Thanksgiving. (You smell it in the air if you live near grandma ;) The warm, soft gingerbread right out of the oven is almost irresistable. If you are lucky enough to be there when she takes a pan out of the oven to cut it into the shaped pieces - you are also lucky enough to get a taste of the scraps. YUM! At the end of a very long day (and week of baking gingerbread) grandma is exhausted and requires a good dose of resting. Once again - the children are so excited and very proud of the construction and decorating of their houses. And grandma - (great grandma to many of the decorators) continues her tradition of taking those houses to the local assisted living center, so the senior citizens there can have just as much fun as the children decorating their houses.

We only had one traumatic experience this year. The girls from Southern Utah - that only get to come and make a house every other year - forgot their darling houses. Momma got about a half hour down the road to their home destination and the girls reminded her that they'd left their houses at grandma's house (my house). Oh my!!!!! Momma had to turn around - even though it would put them an hour or so behind their schedule of arriving home before dark. There is nothing so disheartening than forgetting your newly decorated gingerbread house at grandma's house. You just can't leave it anywhere after you have worked so hard to design and decorate it. Of course, what else was momma to do? She simply had to turn back to get those darling houses to take home with them. And so she did. As for daddy - well he would just HAVE to understand.
 Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet tradition! 
Sounds like there's a lot of dedication in this family! That makes the holidays the BEST!

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1 comment:

Ashley said...

What a touching story! Christmas is truly the time of the year when families become closer. I hope I can find homes for sale in my sister's neighborhood soon.