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Laugh Your Way Through Holiday Season Stress

Gingerbread House

2 weeks to Christmas! Even yogis lose their cool around the holiday season… while the malls are filled with bleary eyed people, and entertaining sometimes feels more like obligation than pleasure. Here’s a blog about how we laughed our way through self-imposed pressures around the holiday season. Laughter is a great yogic tool for serenity!

I got my nephews a pre-fab Gingerbread House Kit, hoping to wow them, imagining us bonding as we build the most fantabulous Gingerbread House (ever) together. And yes, there might have been visions of them looking at me with little eyes of amazement, wowed by how “cool” and “artistic” their aunt was… as we step back to survey the house that we built, a creation maybe even better than the picture on the box.

The Kit came with pre-made frosting which required “massaging” before you could pipe onto the cookie shapes. To my surprise, the icing was pretty stiff and I’m pretty sure my hands and shoulders hurt just from “massaging” it. The icing piped out lumpy and I couldn’t rim the edges of the gingerbread people without them looking “badly drawn”. 10-year old Brandon was definitely not impressed. “Stop it, Zoe!” he said, and tried to take over.

Naynay who was 6, had built a Gingerbread House with his Grade 1 teacher Madame Dare a couple of days ago, and was now “The Expert”. He ambled over. “You don’t put the candy on the icing now. The candy goes on last!!!! You put the walls together first and you have to put the icing on the base so the walls don’t fall down!” He said, quite sure that we were doing EVERYTHING wrong.

“But Brandon said if it’s better if we stuck the candy on the walls, then put them up!” I tried. The two boys then proceeded to fight about who could use what candies to decorate, and who was doing it better and the older boy left the room in a huff.
“Well, this is fun,” I thought, as the icing bag burst. It wasn’t too bad. If I pressed my fingers over the leak, I could still pull this damn thing together. I felt like the girl who plugged her finger into a dam in that children’s story… I think she saved everyone.

Naynay and I put a couple of walls up – but found that if we didn’t hold them up, the icing hasn’t set enough and the walls would start collapsing in towards each other. Why didn’t they say it’d happen on the box?!

“Brandon, come help!” I said, as the icing bag started to look like it was in a stabbing incident, icing bursting out of every seam. “This is the worst gingerbread house in history,” said Brandon. Candy also started to slide off the walls, making ugly smears. My hands were covered and gooey. Martha Stewart never seems to have these problems.

“Can I just lick the icing off your hands?”offered Naynay. “No I need you to hold onto these walls,” I cried as the gingerbread mansion continued to fold in on itself in slow motion. “Get your dad!”

“Madame Dare does it so much better than you,” said Naynay, in a tone that made a hot flash go up my neck.

“Well, Madame Dare has done it all her life, and this is my first gingerbread house,” I said.

“No, Madame Dare did ONE in a day and it was good,” said the illogical 6 year old.

Then all of a sudden, the walls of the gingerbread house could not hold any longer – “Ahhhhhh!!!” I screamed – the boys ran to get help. “Hey don’t go, HELP ME!!” I yelled, as the roof too caved in.

“Ahhhhhhhh!!!” matched the kids. And all of a sudden, the ridiculousness of our catastrophe hit home. “HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!” We laughed, in hysterics. There were bits of icing everywhere. “This is an earthquake gingerbread house!” said Brandon, and we laughed some more. “Yes, nobody else’s ever made an earthquake gingerbread house!” I said.

“Can I eat the gummies,” Naynay asked.

“Ah well, now we don’t have to wait till the 25th. Eat away. You can lick icing off my hands if you want Naynay,” I offered. The children were already picking at the candy, and munching happily into their gingerbread people.

“Our gingerbread house might not be perfect, but it’s the awesomest gingerbread house because we laughed so hard building it together.” I said, “Right?”

“It was so fun… it’s like Christmas already… it’s like a present. It was like…Crazy,” said Brandon, delighted.

“So it’s like the best ever?” I asked.

“Yoohoo!!” said Naynay.

Ah, yes, we built the perfect gingerbread house after all!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Anita says:

    Great story, Zoe, and I don’t think the house looks so bad! Love the door and windows 😀 Having built a couple many years ago, I know how challenging it can be to get that ‘glue’ to hold it all together. A good first attempt, I say!

    • admin says:

      Thank you Anita for the lovely comment and encouragement! Haha, yea – they should put a warning label on the gingerbread house kit – “Expect the icing to fail, unless you have extra hands to hold it all together!” xo

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