Our gingerbread Bethlehem was all ready to decorate for the big Gingerbread Day on December 13th - the day after we finished putting them together. It always take 3 days to do this ordeal - one for making the gingerbread and making the patterns, one for cutting out the patterns, baking them and securing them together with frosting, and one for decorating them. The last couple of years we've been able to do this part at our friend's house. Shari hosted this years again - yeah! It's a big, messy thing. I load up the van with all the kids, houses, frosting and candy (that I've been stock piling from all the past holidays) in only 14 trips back and forth from the house to the van. It's a lot of effort but I really like it for some reason. That's why when evaluating all we do for Christmas, and ridding some of the fluff to keep the more meaningful traditions I decided to make our gingerbread houses into gingerbread Bethlehem. I really thought the kids would argue over who got to build the stable and manger, but surprisingly no one did. Kivi asked if she could build the stable and everyone okayed it. Opal was just fine building one of the houses in town.
Jasper wanted to build the inn and Eben decided to design the "gates of Bethlehem" and the hills for the shepherds. I made one extra house for our city in case Berg wanted to join us, but quickly realized that wasn't a good idea. He went straight down for a nap and didn't even know candy was happening.
After the decorating we listened and sang along with the What God Wants for Christmas set - an awesome little interactive storytelling kit that we do many times in December.
Then my sweet friend Shari fed all my kids lunch because between all the trips to the van I completely forgot to bring my children food that wasn't candy. Here are of all the kids and their creations.
Our little town of Bethlehem sat on our "white shelves" and the aroma of gingerbread made me smile every time I went up or down the stairs. Well, my smile might also have been brought on by our newly carpeted stairs too! Our Mama and Dada Christmas present to ourselves!
Baby gingerbread Jesus lying in a manger. A super sweet way to enjoy God's gift to the world!