The past weekend in New York City was rainy and dreary, and by the end of it, Mira and Liev were bored and whining and beginning to fight. There’s nothing like two consecutive days inside to start trouble between siblings. To make things worse, my husband was off in Florida attending and speaking at Engage!12 , which meant everyone was even more out of sorts. The evenings, at the Witching Hour, are particularly nerve wracking.
Even for Gigi some sort of ennui seemed to be seeping in. So, when Church Street School for Music and Arts called me up on Monday to ask whether I would be willing to take home one of their gingerbread kits and blog about it, I had one vision. My kitchen would be a bit of a mess, but my kids would be smiling and engaged. Yes, please!
A special box was waiting for Mira and Liev when they got home from their after-school activities. They were so excited to open it up and get started right away, but a solid dinner first is key since a lot of that decorating candy will end up in their mouths. Better to feed them up beforehand so that they’re not bouncing off the walls when the gumdrops are unleashed!
While I prepared dinner, all three kids sat down at the table with a piece of paper and a pencil to jot down their design ideas for our house. Genevieve is still in her avante-garde phase of design, but she was included all the same.
After dinner, we really got down to business. We looked over the design ideas, opened our kit to see what we had to work with, and talked about how we could use some of our ideas with the candy provided in our kit. We even supplemented the kit with the last of our Halloween candy (Aw, yeah!).
We got out some paint brushes to use with the frosting. Church Street School provides popsicle sticks for this, but my kids love to paint and wanted to use brushes instead. Who am I to interfere with their inner artiste?
Lollipop in mouth, Liev spread the icing over the roof. He had designed a roof with candy corn shingles that we all felt was perfect, but since we didn’t have any candy corn, Mira suggested that we use Smarties and Sweet Tarts and gum drops instead.
Genevieve excitedly announced, “CANDY!!!” several times while snatching a few treats from the table. She crashed a few minutes later, and while I gave her a bath and put her in her crib, I told the big kids that they could each have a side of the house to decorate any way they wanted.
Being devotees of chocolate, they both tapped the m&m supply for their design. While I wasn’t there to witness it, it seems like there might have been something like this going on: “One for me, one for the house”. You know what? They were not fighting at all. Instead, “That looks great, Liev!” and “Oh, that’s a good idea, Mira!” were the things I heard coming from my kitchen.
When Genevieve was in bed and I rejoined them, we figured out we wanted to showcase the cute gummy penguins and have rainbow windows and doors. In a few more minutes, our house was complete.
Have you ever decorated a gingerbread house for the holidays? Do you start out with a design or just jump in?
Thank you, Church Street School for Music and Art! Not only do you make my kids happy on a regular basis with your one-of-a-kind-in-this-neighborhood teachers and classes, you totally made my family’s night. What a delicious way to kick off the Christmas season!!!