Gingerbread Village

December 24, 2014

Almost every year, a few days before Christmas, Amanda helped Robert to build a gingerbread house. She didn’t bake gingerbread but used kits purchased in stores. I am not sure if she really cherished that experience. I am not entirely convinced that Robert liked that activity.  For them, because of my insistence, it was the thing you had to do before Christmas. And it was not always easy. Making frosting by mixing powder with water could result in a watery disaster and a big mess. Often, Robert didn’t follow directions correctly. He pushed too hard, too little, or in the wrong direction and the structure collapsed. They had to start again. How frustrating!. But year after year they did it.

This year, I bought the Gingerbread Village Kit.  Robert opened it a day after Amanda came home. But he didn’t bother Amanda by insisting they do it that day.   He just waited patiently.  And waited.  Finely, this morning, they sat together at the dinner table.  We, the parents, joined them too.   Amanda, the experienced builder, was in charge. Robert attentively followed all the suggestions.  Over the years he learned by experience how much frosting he should apply and how much pressure he should use to make sure that the walls stick together. Jan and I felt slightly overwhelmed. We did not always know what to do.  We were  not much more than spectators. Still, our performing  children appreciated our admiration. That is right.  We couldn’t help but admire Amanda’s ability to show the way and Robert’s focus and efforts.  Mostly, however, we were touched by Amanda’s and Robert’s ability to smoothly and efficiently work in tandem.

December 31, 2014

This afternoon, Robert with Jan’s and my help (Amanda is back in France.) built four gingerbread sleighs.  Jan helped with structures and I helped with decorations. But our inputs were almost negligent as Robert was almost independent. If he was not completely independent, it was because we, his parents, wanted to be in involved too and thus we interfered with Robert’s creations. Luckily, he didn’t mind.

January 3, 2015.

As of this morning all four sleighs lost their gummy Santas to Robert’s stomach. The candies decorating gingerbread cottages and sleighs are gone too. Oh well, till the next year.





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  1. Jean

     /  January 2, 2015

    Wonderful Christmas memory, and a story showing how loving support promotes growth.

  2. Amanda

     /  January 3, 2015

    I did enjoy making the gingerbread houses! I only wish I could have done some other activity with Robert and you. Until next time!


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