Every so often my family bakes and decorates gingerbread houses at Christmastime. Actually, the last time we undertook such a project was over five years ago when we constructed a gingerbread nativity complete with manger, animals, and the holy family. If I remember correctly, the Baby Jesus even had royal-icing swaddling clothes. My memory is sketchy, however, because I didn't get to see the creche for long as Mr. Reg ate the entire scene the very night we made it. We woke up to nothing but one half-gnawed wall and a very sick dog.
But we got back on that gingerbread horse this year in order to create a gingerbread village, composed of four houses and a church. It's always interesting to see how each person can use the same ingredients to create such different looks--Kathryn made a homey log-cabin with red garland and jolly-rancher stained glass; Kristen snipped fruit leather into shingles and pasted a big M above her door; Mom used snow-encrusted haybales as her roof and set a sparkly window on the front; Dad outfitted his house with tile floor and actually inset a windowpane pretzel into the side of his house; I constructed a church with thatched roof, sheep, and pews. And Reggie? I'd like to think he's developed the self control to resist such a temptation, but just in case, we guarded him carefully each night. The village lasted into the New Year.