Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

So you might think that opening presents, or making baked goods would be my favorite Christmas activity. However, you would be wrong. My absolute favorite thing to do at Christmas is to build gingerbread houses. I'm not so fancy as to use real gingerbread, oh no, I go ghetto all the way and use pure graham cracker goodness. I think it makes it much more of a challenge so that when you make a true masterpiece you can say, "And yeah, I made it all with graham crackers." And since the more people you have creating candy piles the better, we invited our friends Tonia and Andre over.

We had soooo much candy:

Everyone was intently crafting away:

And of course eating candy all the way too:

After much graham cracker crumbling, frosting sliding, and house collapsing we all ended up with some fabulous creations. Even Ella got in on the action, so first off is Ella's, um, thing:

She did most of it by herself.

Anton made a post hurricane Florida beach house:

It was held up with pretzel stick stilts, but they just weren't doing their job so the base got boarded up.

Tonia went the festive direction with Santa's Workshop/Country Church:

Andre went all the way and broke out the big guns:

See before you, Hogwart's Castle! Isn't that fantastic?

Now for the piece de resistance. For many years I have been making some sort of house other than the typical everyday gingerbread house. I've made lighthouses, tree houses, White Houses, doll houses and more. This year I made this:

The tepee. Complete with Native American and horse:

Crackling fire and traditional pottery:

And the day's kill hanging out to dry:

This was so much fun!

And since we were having so much fun we decided to cheat and open some Christmas presents early. But not too many, just the ones we gave to each other.

We made Andre and Tonia open theirs first. I love the reaction we got!

Here's what we gave them:

I was sneaky sneak last week while I was babysitting their kids and took some pictures of them then had them printed and framed it. I wanted to keep it myself it turned out so cute!

Then we dug into our gift from them. Ella did the ripping honors:

And we got:

The Cities and Knights expansion pack for Settlers of Catan! Hooray! You hear that Emily and John? I hearby challenge you to a match when you get back!

So after much sugar ingesting and some great gift giving we called it a night. And what a fabulous night it was too!


Harmony said...

Your gingerbread house is so cool! The kill hanging out to dry is my favorite part. You are so creative! Want to come babysit my kids and take secret pictures? I'm totally stealing that idea!

Emily said...

We hereby accept your challenge.