Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's beginning to look a little more like Christmas (but not really)

For me, Christmas season = freezing cold, and freezing cold = Christmas season. As a result, all this sun and heat (and rain) is REALLY throwing me off. There are decorations everywhere and I crank the Christmas tunes (Celine! Amy! Mariah!) 24/7, but I have ZERO Christmas spirit right now. For me it's not December... it's July.

In an attempt to feel more Christmassy, we had our good friends Lance & Natalie over for a little gingerbread house-making fun. This is something that my family has done every year for as long as I can remember, but Lance & Nat have never had the pleasure of such an experience!

My Mom always does all of the "behind the scenes" work (i.e., making the gingerbread houses from scratch, buying the candy, making sure our icing piping tubes are always filled), but my Mom isn't here, so I did it (with emailed instructions from my Mama of course)! (This whole being away from family for various holidays has been good practise for when we have our own family. I've had to continue all of our grand family traditions on my own (i.e., big dinners & gingy houses). My future kids will thank me for spending a year in NZ).

Gingerbread pieces ready to "glue" together:

And they're glued! (This was my first time, okay? Each house has (a lot) of character) :

The candy is ready to go. The candies are mostly different from the ones we use at home, but I used my spidey candy senses and picked pretty good substitutes. (Aaaaand I went a little overboard in this department) :

The table is gingerbread-house-making ready! Now we just need the people.

There they are. Now let's get BUSY!

And now for the final masterpieces.

Here's Lowell's piece of art:

I think that cute little snowman deserves a close-up!

Lance's was so funny... it was a true Kiwi gingerbread house! Grass in the backyard and a strawberry garden in the front. Sooooo not the kind of gingy houses we're used to (although he did include a snowman in the strawberry garden)!

It was also great having Lance there b/c he used all the DISCARDED candies (i.e., the PINK smarties).

Nat went with the "less is more" theme and it's so cute. I picture Care Bears living in there.

And now for my little masterpiece:

(My shirt says "Sweet As" (as in aZ, not a nasty word for bum) which is a very kiwi saying).

I was the only candy-hoarder, and there was tons of leftover candy (Marc will be APPALLED to hear that). But I think they all turned out pretty darn good (especially for having a few first-timers in the group!) :

During our evening o' fun, our new neighbours, Hailey & Daniel, came over and brought us pavlovas (a traditional kiwi Christmas dessert). Mmmmmm...

It was great fun making gingerbread houses and eating a traditional kiwi Christmas dessert... but it still doesn't feel like Christmas. At all. Perhaps it'll feel a little more so when JULIE ANNE (Lowell's sister) AND ERIN (Lowell's cousin) COME THIS WEEK!!!!!

(I stole this picture from Julie Anne's facebook pictures. Creepy? Yes. But also completely necessary).


Anonymous said...

You didn't let your kiwi guests build their own houses? But failing to keep the roof on your house is a key experience of gingerbread house making.....

Lowell & Julie said...

Not this year. Maybe they can make their own in Canada next year (b/c they're coming for Christmas 2009!!!!) Baby steps, Alisha, baby steps... :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Julie and Lowell and Guests, those gingerbread houses are awesome. Yes, they tend to look a little rickety at first, but that is what the icing is for! :)
love Mum

shareen said...

no one put a chimney on theirs and stuffed it full of candy? scandalous...and you call yourself a candy-hoarder. :)

Carlynne said...

Mmmm.. my mouth is watering for sugar. Your houses look tantalizingly good. You are putting forth a formidable effort to feel christmasy. I would find it hard too but you are doing a very good job!!

It is not very Christmasy here in Kingston right now either. It rained all day yesterday and now all the snow is gone and the ground is dry and the sky is blue. Weird. But a break from the cold is nice. I here its -25 and worse in Edmonton eeekkk!!

shareen said...

it's shockingly christmas-y here in Victoria right now...freaky really. Huge flakes of snow falling as I type and it's about maybe the University will shut down for the rest of the week? :)

word verification: barking

Fiona Brown said...

We- the recipients of the beautiful Julie's house - LOVED it!! The kids were so over the moon to see it - and then EAT it!! YOU are so clever...

Thanks so much dear friends....