Saturday, November 29, 2008

And...they're off!

Well, the season has official begun for our family.

Thanksgiving was a lush, fragrant, delicious, slightly tight waist-bandy sort of day. Many thanks to my excellent GGF for once again inviting my whole brood to her house for the day.

The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional Gingerbread making event at my mom's. Her place sports this iconic view of beautiful Seattle and is the quintessential "party house". Some considerable time was spent trying to remember just how many years we have been doing this. Definitely more than 15 was the conclusion; we couldn't pin it down closer than that.

My mom invites a literal horde of folks with their kids to her house for the day. Dazzled by the piles of every kind of candy imaginable and buckets of different colored frostings, most people just need a little time to just take it all in but eventually serious work begins. My mom made 15 separate Gingerbread house this year; simple cottages and sprawling Victorian Mansions. For the slightly overwhelmed there are all sorts of sugar cookies to decorate; elaborate or plain, they are eaten all the same.

Some people really get into it and a design competition could break out each year; usually with Grampa John or stepbrother David winning hands down. But all the results are truly incredible and each person is encouraged to take their house home. I myself don't tackle a whole house but usually spend my creative energy on frosting and decorating piles and piles of cookies.

My addition to the tradition is to get a big pot of soup cooking on the stove. It is fun to cook as a group, take turns stirring through out the day and then it warms us all at dinner time. Of course, the kids didn't eat much being sugar buzzed from frosting overload. But, all in all it is a lovely day; spent with friends new and old, beloved family members watching the kids creating fun memories.

My kids usually stay the night with plans of putting up the tree with my mom the next day. All went as planned without too much mishap this year. I am always impressed with my mom's energy and good graces to host a big event like that with absolutely no eye ball rolling or griping about the mess. She really is a saint. John too.

Thanks mom, for starting these fun traditions and keeping them up. I guess that is what its all about and because of you we are banking so many wonderful memories to savor through out the year and beyond.

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