Gingerbread Christmas

I’m scrambling here, working on the grandsons’ Christmas outfits and preparing for tomorrow’s arrival of 2-1/2 year old Alastair.  He will be with us for a few days and will have my undivided attention.  So there is no time for a new blog post. I hope you will enjoy this re-run.

The children’s ages and Christmas garments are not current.  But the upcoming gingerbread house decorating activities will be just as described below–except that Robert may have a little more restraint with the candy.  Then again, he is a little more experienced and might get away with even more this year.

Whatever.  We will have a grand time decorating.  I hope you have a chance to do this with a child.  It is messy, yes, but sooooooo much fun.


“And I had but one penny in the world, Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.”  William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost



Laurel and Robert, wearing the gingerbread John-John now worn by his little cousin Alastair


Unlike the character in Shakespeare’s play, I’m not sure that I would spend my last penny on gingerbread. I’d probably go for a scrap of fabric or lace, or a needle …..but I digress. This is about gingerbread and Christmas outfits for my grandchildren.


The marshmallow snowman had a short life. And he did not melt, did he, Robert?

The marshmallow snowman had a short life. And he did not melt, did he, Robert?


If you have read more than two or three posts on this blog, you will know that gingerbread plays a huge role in our Christmas festivities. Robert and Laurel, at ages 2 and 3, seemed ready to be introduced to this family tradition. They made their first gingerbread houses, received gingerbread ornaments for their personal collection, added a charming book, Gingerbread Land, to their library in Nana’s nursery, and wore smocked gingerbread outfits for various holiday activities and on Christmas day.




The polycotton, ready-to-smock, red gingham jumper and Jon-Jon saved me enough time to spend hours and hours searching for a smocking plate that suited me. It seemed to me that the designs all showed trim, athletic ginger folk and many of them were wearing clothes. I wanted a smocking design that looked like the cookies we baked–roly poly and wearing nothing but frosting.

In desperation, I did a Google search and low and behold! There was the perfect plate in a back issue of Creative Needle magazine, the entire collection of which I have, from the premier issue on. I was elated and started smocking almost immediately.

This style is really a wonderful for children year round. In cool weather, a long sleeved turtleneck can be substituted for the short sleeved shirt. On a tropical Florida day, it can be worn shirtless.

Our gingerbread tradition continues. At Halloween, my daughter had a party at which guests decorated gingerbread haunted mansions.  Last night, she held her first annual Christmas gingerbread house decorating party.  Nine month-old Alastair was enchanted, as was 6 month-old Aliyah, who was attired in a tiny pink chef’s hat and matching apron!  I’m hoping to get a picture soon.

Tomorrow, the children will decorate their houses here with Nana and then set them out in their own home. Robert’s probably won’t last very long. Last year, even under his mother’s experienced and watchful eye, he had eaten the marshmallow snowman and stripped away most of the candy within two days. And never got caught.

I’m sure he is one little boy who would spend his last penny on gingerbread—or the sugary treats that go with it.

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