Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Practicing Christmas

It started out with Rose and a gingerbread house from a kit. This is the third year we've done any such thing. The first year, we bought a house in pieces-parts. Took a while to get it properly constructed, and then Rose wanted it to perfectly match the picture in the instructions. Which meant that mama did all the icing, and Rose would put on the candies.

Second year, we got smart and bought a pre-constructed house kit. Rose actually started piping some of the icing herself, on the less-challenging bits.

This year, she designed and piped the whole thing (except for the door which she asked me to do).


Well, there was quite a bit of icing left, which got me thinking. What if I made a smaller house with graham crackers so Joy could do some decorating?

Joy wasn't thrilled with the sit-down work, but did a pretty good job of poking some M&Ms at the icing blobs. Letting go of the candy was a tough part. But she didn't much seem to mind letting the candies become part of the house, as long as she got to eat a few!


Then today -- since einmal ist keinmal -- we did another one. Rose did the icing blobs...


and Joy poked on the candies again, with some guidance.


I was delighted at how Joy seemed to realize this time that she needed to let the candy go so it would stick!


Then, for a bit more Christmas practice, I set her up to help me stir the peppernut dough:


I think we've got some good Christmas practices going here.

11 comments:

StatMama said...

I love this! And the houses are both adorable! I didn't do a gingerbread house with the kids this year, and I wasn't going to, but your post has changed my mind. I'm going to get a kit tomorrow :)

Happy Holidays!!!

DolphinHugger said...

I was watching (yet another) adaptation of A Christmas Carol the other day, and was reminded of the great line, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year." Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all did so, and Joy would get plenty of practice. And gingerbread houses, too!

JoyMama said...

StatMama - enjoy! Gingerbread and icing-decorations were never part of my family tradition growing up; I'm so glad to have discovered it for my kiddos.

DolphinHugger - excellent point! Good to see you here... you're welcome to pipe up more often! :-)

Niksmom said...

Well, I don't know what peppernut dough is for but I like that Joy helped you with it. And the gingerbread houses —both of the girls'— are wonderful. I think I need to start to try some more crafts with Nik. He's got the fine motor skills, it's the attention span I'm leery of. LOL

Merry, Merry Christmas to your entire family. xo

mama edge said...

Very cute! I'm inspired -- today I'm going to get the boys to help me make gingerbread dough, which tends to be hard for Taz because he hates to wait two hours for the dough to get cold enough to roll out for cookies. Delayed gratification is definitely an einmal ist keinmal skill he needs to learn, and you've given me the courage to give Taz the practice.

jess wilson said...

Absolutely, positively wonderful!

JoyMama said...

Niksmom - peppernuts are tiny German cookies all full of Christmas spices (anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg!) Re: Nik & crafts, attention span is surely an issue with Joy too. It takes lots of setup for a short encounter... once I learned to give up the expectation that crafts would fill lots of Joy-time, I got along much better with it!

mama edge - good luck with the delayed gratification. Peppernut dough needs to chill too. Sometimes we cheat and put it in the freezer...

therextras said...

Fabulous! (A faint memory of your apt German phrase came to mind as I shared my mis-interpretation with you.)

You show the way and means to readers - fabulously encouraging!

Barbara

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

What a lovely (and yummy) tradition! Wishing you and yours a most beautiful Christmas!

AuntieS said...

I will enjoy the peppernuts even more than usual this year by knowing that Joy helped to prepare them too! Both girls seem to thrive and accomplish so much with your patience and willingness to keep trying! Love those peppernuts!!!
-AuntieS

Drama Mama said...

I love it when parents have the spirit and wherewithal to actively observe the really important parts of the holidays with their kids. Merry merry!