Monday, November 29, 2010

Gingerbread Houses, A Family Tradition

The day after Thanksgiving is Gingerbread Day for our family and our friends the Murphys. Growing up, my two sisters and brother and I were best friends with the three Murphy girls who lived next door. We played together, shared clothes, had sleep-overs, rode the school bus, went to Girl Scouts, church choir; we even went on vacation together.

When we started having children about 27 years ago, we began a tradition of getting together the day after Thanksgiving to make gingerbread houses. We do this every year. My sister Eileen makes all the gingerbread pieces and the frosting that we use to construct the houses and attach the candy. Everybody brings tons of candy.

I like the pretzel trim on the house below.

As you can imagine there were some pretty big messes over the years, but we're past that now. None of the kids have "outgrown" gingerbread day. My niece Amelia is the youngest of the group (on the far right). You can see half the table below. There are over 20 of us!

Our son Brian made his version of the Parthenon below.

Eileen's son Nate added a waterslide to his gingerbread house. Last year somebody made a silo to go with their house.

My DH and my sisters' DHs say that soon after marrying us they realized that they had also married into the Murphy family. Haha. I'm so glad that Eileen goes to all the trouble of making this event happen for all of us. And you know she's a quilter, right?

26 comments:

Jo-anne (Blossy) said...

What a great tradition! I was thinking of making a gingerbread house this year. Your pics have inspired me to go buy the ingredients!

Annelies vdB said...

It must be so much fun to do this together !

ulinkap said...

beautiful tradition! And you are continuing it for so many years.

Mimi said...

Let's hear it for Eileen.... hip hip hoorey.... and to see all working and creating is just what family traditions are about.... and I bet they dream during the year what sugar plums they are going to put on their next "house".

Kathi's Kreations said...

Oh how fun, Karen. You are so lucky to have kept this going for so many years. What wonderful family and friends you have!!!

Stephanie said...

What a fabulous tradition! My family did it with neighbors when our kids were little. We used graham crackers on small individual milk cartons for ease. Then all the kids brought candy to decorate. LOTS of eating and some decorating!

"Lois Grebowski" said...

Karen, my nieces and thier cousins do this every year as well. Now all their guys ahve joined in. It's fun to see what they create.

Loved the Parthenon and the water slide. I laughed at the Parthenon -- so BNA! :-)

JoAnne said...

What a wonderful tradition! My daughter and her best friend in elementary school made gingerbread houses throughout their school years, even college. So much fun!

Martine said...

What a great tradition!!

joana said...

Me parece una tradición preciosa, por no mencionar lo absolutamente apetitosas que parecen!! Por muchos años, felicidades !

Char said...

Wow, what a wonderful tradition!

Nancy said...

This is such a wonderful tradition! And I gotta' hand it to Eileen for her preparation of all the gingerbread pieces. That's a real labor of love. But I can see the memories and the results are well worth it.

Funoldhag said...

Traditions like that are what makes Christmas memorable and sweet. How great you have been doing that for so long - may you have many, many more years of making gingerbread houses!! Carol

Jill said...

What a fun tradition!!

Leeanne said...

what a fun idea, I made some a couple of years ago with my kids...but they didn't look as great as the ones you've all made!

Carla said...

Karen, I'm a also a member of the Gingerbread House Club! I took a class about 25 years ago and made many through the years with my children. Now, it is with my grandchildren. Since the oldest is only 6, we have been making the houses out of graham crackers (did you know they have gotten smaller!) but it won't be long before we can move up to the bigger houses. It is a fun tradition. The first one I ever made was in Oct. and we had to store it till Dec. in the attic storage room. A mouse decided it looked pretty tasty and ate part of one side...I just turned it around so no one could see!...(No, the kids didn't get to eat it after Christmas that year!)

Poppyprint said...

I just love the photo of everyone at the table! That is fantastic. And Eileen - what a saint baking all of that gingerbread (I hope someone else does the turkey for her!). What fun.

Girltwin64 said...

What a cool tradition!!!!!! I am so jealous!!!!!!!! Just one Question how in the world do you not stuff your self while doing this? Everything looks so yummy!!!!!

JoAnne said...

I am so jealous! What a fun time for all of you! Thank you, Karen, for posting this, it brought back memories from a very long time ago. When I was a child, Mom made a candy (no gingerbread) house each year. We loved it!

I was just looking at the names of the others who posted here earlier today, a Jo-anne, a JoAnne (just like me!) and a Joana in just the 19 of us! Interesting...

RustyBird said...

What a great tradition - family, friends, fun, creativity, & food. What more could you ask for? How lovely!

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful tradition and wonderful gingerbread houses. I tried one once and made a mess of it, lol.

Debbie

Nifty Quilts said...

What a fun tradition, plus long history with good friends. Lucky you!

Monica said...

That is awesome! I wanna come!

Barb said...

so fun!
I love gingerbread building and decorating too - Your party looks like they had a great time.

Tatkis said...

Such cute gingerbread houses! And a great family event!

Best wishes,
Tatyana

lisa_d said...

Awesome designing. What a great tradition too! You did all the job well done. Yummy houses lol.

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