Sunday, November 29, 2009

Warning . . . This may bring on candy craving

Our gingerbread house decorating is an annual Candy Land Smorgasbord. We load the counter with a never ending supply of sweets. Some children covertly slip candy in their mouth and appear to consume very little. Others, like Seamus, boldly put a favorites bowl to eat at his place and another bowl of candy for decorating. The moms are only moderate candy monitors on this special day. It would be tough to be much more than that.

Every now and then I notice a child, that I won’t name, smiling and sifting candy corn through his fingers—Fagin-like. There is something dazzling about the sheer volume of candy.

Sometimes the kitchen is relatively quiet as kids and adults alike contemplate how to get the look they are striving to create.

Occasionally there is some frustration over structure collapse syndrome but actually that is becoming more rare as the children become more experienced.

Some just start out placing candy and then see what patterns begin to develop. It is fun how putting the candy end to end makes one pattern and arranging it another way gives an entirely different look. Others plot and plan before beginning.

Each building looks entirely different and each year there is a new technique to try. This year we made stained glass windows with jolly ranchers.

Kent’s building has a curved awning for his recognizable replica of the Heritage Field House and Warrior Dome at his high school.

The girls made sprawling houses with tunnels and dog houses and lots of landscaping in somewhat of a race to see who would use the most candy. (This is Morgan's house. I took a photo of both girls and their houses but somehow I lost that photo?)

Steven made dormers and a porch and candy cane pillars.

He also made a garage with a motorcycle in the garage.

Seth meticulously put a piece of candy on his house using his frosting paste and then admired it briefly and plucked it off and put it in his mouth. That is why his house is now void of any candy decorations. No problem, this project is all about the process not about the finished product.

Josiah proudly announced, "This is the best house I ever did."

It is quite good. It is also the only house he has ever done.

A few of the kids like to store some of their favorite wrapped candy inside their building to have a stash after Christmas when the buildings are demolished and tossed. Seamus used the same technique as last year and stored some in a canon on his roof.

During clean-up, we wrap and tie left over candy for the next year. We don’t worry about expiration dates. As far as I know, no one has become ill or lost a tooth on old candy.

The grands say that we are going to keep doing this for lots of years. Yay! I pretend this is a kid-oriented tradition but you have probably gathered the truth by now.


Donna's Book Nook said...

As usual, the Grands (and adults!) have outdone themselves this year! Their ceations are great and so original. Oh, to have a kid's imagination! (sigh)

What memories they are making for a lifetime. Good job!

Wanda said...

I am impressed with all the different designs they came up with. I noticed the cone outcropping early on and was wondering who might have been inspired to do that...Little Seamus that's it's full of candy!

All the houses are great, they make a beautiful village!
Wonderful memories for both you and them!


Diana said...

Very nice Brenda! The final picture shows the pride in all of their work.
This looks like such a fun and wonderful tradition. Thanks for sharing all of the "After" photos!
Love Di

Bernie said...

I absolutely love these photo's Brenda.....what wonderful memories and tradition you are making with the this...:-) Hugs

Rebecca said...

You KNOW what I think, don't you? Have you submitted this to Family Circle or Good Housekeeping yet? How many years HAVE you been doing it?

Brenda said...

Rebecca, you flatter me. Unfortunately, this is not an original idea. Lots of other families do it as well. I started making individual little houses for the kids in 2001. This was our eighth year. Jessica was nearly two years old. Kent, our oldest was seven years old. We have come a long way since then.

Dee said...

What ((sweet memories))!!! I am sure this is a tradition that each Grand will keep generation to generation. :-)

Jacquelyn said...

I'm so far behind on my blog reading...this looks like a blast! Wow, what great creations they came up with. I wish I was there in on the fun!