Nana Fun~Halloween Gingerbread and Kiddie Aprons

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It’s long been a family tradition to make a gingerbread house at Christmas. When my children were little, it was an enormous 3 day undertaking that began with making up a huge batch of gingerbread dough, refrigerating it overnight, then baking the pieces in the morning, constructing the house after the pieces cooled in the afternoon, letting it sit overnight for the frosting to set up and then finally, decorating.

 

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Now, Wilton has kits, like prefab houses, with prebaked gingerbread pieces, frosting mix and even basic decorating pieces. With my grandchildren, we build the quick and easy Wilton way.

I have been looking forward to this year’s Christmas gingerbread decorating party since August, when 4 year old Robert began asking when we could do it again.  So I was absolutely delighted last week when I came across the new Wilton Halloween Haunted Mansion kits at Michael’s Craft store.

The day I spotted them, without even waiting for a 40% off coupon, I plunked two house kits in my cart and headed for the checkout aisle. That next day during “recess” at homeschool, Laurel and I constructed the houses and soon thereafter, both children had decorated their gingerbread Halloween Haunted Mansions. They are so proud of their houses and it was just so much fun.

 

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Robert spent the night so he could decorate his house without his bossy sister and with my undivided attention. His grandfather had brought home a bag of licorice nuggets to add to the decorating materials. While Robert was busily decorating and popping more than a few candies in his mouth, I answered a phone call.  Big mistake.

 

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When I returned, almost half the bag was gone, Robert’s lips and teeth were black and he was grinning apologetically.  About an hour after he was tucked in for the night, he awakened crying that he had a tummy ache.

Alllllllllll night long he cried, sleeping no longer than 20 minutes at a time. About 2 a.m. I  finally crawled in his bed, to try to comfort him, but he wasn’t comforted and I wasn’t sleeping.   The next morning, he was fine, but I wasn’t.  Nanas need their sleep.  I have certainly learned my lesson about leaving a little boy unsupervised with a bag of candy.

My daughter was so excited when I shared the pictures of our decorating efforts that she hurried out to get a few houses. Since her little guy, Alastair, is too young to participate, she invited some friends over to join her in the fun. Their houses were delightful.

 

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Two years ago, in anticipation of making our Christmas gingerbread houses, I purchased two children’s chef sets, with an apron, oven mitt and chef’s hat, one white with black checked apron pockets and trim the other in red with red gingham, but these are no longer available.

 

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I embroidered them with some darling designs from the Cookie Cutter collection at Roberta’s Creations.

Laurel wore her apron while decorating the gingerbread. But Robert was making such a mess that I finally stripped off the apron and shirt and then chased him to the bathtub when we were finished.

 

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looking over the Christmas mincemeat pie which they “helped” make by pouring in the filling

 

They have used their chef sets quite a lot and enjoy “suiting up” for baking sessions with their mother. But whether or not the children have an apron, I encourage all mothers and grandmothers to make a gingerbread house with their  little ones, either for Halloween or Christmas.  But don’t leave the candy unattended.

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