Last weekend I took a day off from deadlines and spent most of Sunday making a gingerbread house with my ten year old daughter. Alas, ours didn't turn out quite as well as the one above, but for only our second time it wasn't too bad. We celebrate Christmas, so Sunday was also tree trimming day.
I think I mentioned last year that the past few years have been somewhat "bah humbug" for me when it comes to the holidays. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it's mostly the stress of trying to buy gifts, go to party's and kid's winter shows, decorate the house, get out Christmas cards, and oh yea, work. Well this year it really hit me just how fast time is going by. My kids, as the cliche goes, are growing up fast. Knowing that "Santa" won't always be here, I decided to make a concerted effort this year to be in a better Christmas mood--thus, the gingerbread house.
But a gingerbread house is really a new take on my favorite holiday tradition: making gingerbread cookies. This tradition started probably about the time I was my daughter's age (when my mom pulled out the old Betty Crocker cookbook) and has continued virtually uninterrupted to this day.
I'm not much of a desert eater, but I LOVE these cookies and can't really imagine a Christmas without them. I know there are some of you out there thinking: gingerbread cookies are okay, but not my favorite. I beg to change your mind. Here is the recipe, give it a shot and become a believer. :)
A couple of pointers: I try not to use extra flour and roll between plastic, baking on parchment until they are still slightly sticky on bottom and soft indent on top. You must decorate with royal icing, and they last forever stored in tins.
So what's your favorite holiday tradition?