My mom started this tradition with me and I never forget it. Baking gingerbread cookies is a must each year. It’s one of the memories I have of my brother. I can’t tell you how old I was, but I remember him coming in while we were making the gingerbread cookies and just being there in the kitchen. It’s the one thing I HAVE TO do each year if I do nothing else.
The Gingerbread Beginnings
So we started the tradition with Bailey at the age of 1-year-old. I’m sure she doesn’t completely remember it, but I was adamant about this happening. Watching her try to eat everything she got her hands on and rolling the dough out was the best feeling I could think of. I’m not completely sure my mom felt this way when making them, but I do know that I didn’t image the feeling. My parents came to Cincinnati that year for Christmas with us. So not only did I get to start this tradition with my child, but we were able to share this as three generations together in the kitchen. Bailey has a love for wanting to help cook and I believe this started it all.
The Gingerbread Process
We started doing it making cookies Christmas Eve, but since I just make sure that it gets done. I make sure that it’s done during the weekend because it can get very messy and we need time to make memories and not rush the process. Of course we have plenty of Christmas attire, so I make sure that we are festive in our look. I mean most of the time how you look is how you feel, and if not fake it until you make it. The hubby puts on Christmas music and we vibe and dance to make it a party. We drink eggnog and the show begins. I allow her to mix the ingredients, and make a mess in the kitchen. If you’ve ever made gingerbread cookies, you know that after everything is mixed you have to let the dough chill. We typically watch a movie or dance even more while doing this.
After the dough has chilled here comes the fun and even more mess. Its time to roll that dough and get the cookie cutters out. Flour is place on the cutting board and rolling-pin, and it’s time to get the flour flying. I’ve purchased plenty of cookie cutters over the years. Last year I even purchased this Minion Cookie Cutter Kit. We make everything we can think of, not just the traditional gingerbread men. Putting them into the oven and the house being filled with the aroma of cookies baking is the best part aside from eating them.
Bailey’s favorite part would be decorating them. It’s fun to watch her not stick to lines and create these pieces that drive me up the wall because it’s not how I would do them. I’m a little type A on certain things like that. But I try my best to allow her to express herself as she would like. She has a blast and that’s all that matters.
Adding to the Tradition
Bailey is in kindergarten and is doing well with reading. One book that she loves is the “The Gingerbread Man”. So I figured we (she) could read it after our nightly routine has been finished and we are consuming a few cookies. Just to add a little flair to what we normally do. This may be something I put in the other kids Christmas Eve Box. (There will be a post on this coming soon).
Can’t Leave you Hanging
So, I’m a bit stingy and I won’t be posting the recipe on here that we use. BUT here’s one that is almost identical to the one I use!