Gingerbread houses. Lots of people make gingerbread houses this time of year. The super brave people bake sheets of gingerbread and use homemade frosting to glue it together. The super smart people buy kits from Wal-Mart.
I don’t know how it started, but the Hochstetlers use graham crackers and hot glue.
We’ve been doing it for years. The beginning of December, mom comes home from the grocery store with, like, a dozen boxes of graham crackers and a couple bags of hot glue sticks.
We always wait until after the local Christmas parade, so we can use our parade candy to decorate.
It’s definitely been a developed art… each year, we tweak something. We started spreading a huge piece of paper out over the table so that we can just roll the whole mess up and throw it away when we’re done. One year, we bought a whole bunch of those tiny little glue guns, so almost everyone can have their own rather than wait to use the big ones (yeah, we’re an impatient bunch.)
At some point, the power tools started getting involved. The men started making trips to the shop to use the bandsaw or bringing things like a dremel tool inside to use on their graham crackers (I think that’s what it was called…). Those of us who were scared to use a dremel tool (cough, me & mom) had to hand our crackers over and trust that the guys would do what we wanted them to do.
It was always very exciting, as you can see in this rather blurry picture from last year:
See all the cords hanging from the ceiling? That’s a pretty new innovation. Hanging the power cords for the hot glue guns from the ceiling fan allowed the guns to be passed around without much tangling action.
There was always intense concentration.
I hoped, hoped, hoped that once we got married, Jonathan and I would continue this tradition. I knew we wouldn’t have a great big display like my family usually had, but I really wanted to make at least one graham-cracker-hot-glue house.
Annnnd, we did!
We only had like, three kinds of candy to decorate with. And we had to use flour for snow. But we did it, and it’s so cute!
(The gummy bears that seem to be levitating outside the front door are intended to be us. Not exactly proportionate, but definitely yummy if you peel the glue off.)