The first step in correcting my compulsive Christmas ways was in allowing them to work together, independent of mom and dad, to decorate their own tree. They put on Christmas music and worked harmoniously together for OVER AN HOUR. No ornaments broken, no bodily injuries and no feelings hurt. Best of all, they were very proud of themselves. What a great idea I had!...And so.. they wanted more. (Have you ever read the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?) No problem, I let them decorate their bedrooms. I'm such a great mom.... "Mom, Mom, we have to put up the cling -ons that cousin Diana gave us - on the sliding glass door in the kitchen." "Sure, whatever you want..."
Next, they wanted to build and decorate the annual Gingerbread house --umm, what? The gingerbread house that sits proudly in the middle of the island of our kitchen? It will be such a messy project... It might fall over and then think of how disappointed you'd be...there will be royal icing bits on my tables, chairs and kitchen floors for weeks...it might not look like the way I would do it (horrors!)... "Ooookayy... have at it..." And they did.
Well shame on me. How could I have had any doubts. I think this is a gingerbread house that would make any gingerbread family very happy. Don't you?
It doesn't matter that it took me several hours to clean up after their two day construction project or that I'm still finding royal icing on the undersides of stools. This year's gingerbread house deserves center stage on my kitchen island more than any other year. It makes me smile every time I walk by it. Not because it is slightly lopsided like my compulsive decorating habits have been, but because Noah and Emily took ownership in it, worked together as a very silly team, and created a masterpiece. And because I wasn't really involved, there was no stress about it - for any of us. (If you've made gingerbread houses with young children before, you may understand what I mean.)
It has made for a very happy home.
I wonder what they are going to ask to do next...