Posts Tagged ‘gingerbread’

Gingerbread musings

April 19, 2010

Paying their way: my numeral cookie cutters make a batch of "2" biscuits

I did it!  I made a batch of “2” shaped gingerbread cookies for the slew of second birthday parties coming up, using the numeral cookie cutters I bought a couple of months ago.  

I frosted them in different ways and personalised some of them with messages like “Cory is 2” and “Happy Birthday!”.  I thought they looked great, and suitably festive, especially when packaged.

However, my confidence dipped when I went to the first party.  It turned out to be a full-on, almost-no-expense-spared sort of children’s party.  (I mean, there wasn’t a clown or magician, but I think next year there will be).  I had felt pretty good about my special cookies gift, until I saw the hordes of other people all turning up with big flossy parcels.  Then I began to feel…cheap.

I couldn’t help it.  But then again, I reminded myself, this little boy is little more than an acquaintance.  We haven’t seen Cory in probably four months.  It seemed like madness to rush out and buy a $15 – $30 toy for a child we barely know.  Plus, his wealthy parents seem to have purchased him every toy his heart could possibly desire.  What on earth could I have found that he didn’t have already?

So I found myself in a “But it’s the thought that counts!” kind of moment.  Maybe the gift was a little cheap (?).  Certainly it only cost me a few dollars instead of the dozens I’d normally have to have shelled out. 

But despite being relatively inexpensive, it wasn’t an easy gift.  Baking the cookies, frosting them in various ways, including hand-frosted messages…that took a lot of time and effort.  It would have been much simpler to just visit a local boutique and have them giftwrap some puzzle or train or something – done in a matter of moments. 

All the same, I couldn’t help wondering what the parents thought about it, later on after the party trimmings had all been swept up.  Did they comment to each other, What a charming and original gift, and that homemade gingerbread sure does taste good! 

Or did they say, Cheap bitch!

Glorious gingerbread houses

October 27, 2009

A gingerbread house kit makes a wonderful festive gift for children and families.  Gingerbread houses are popular in North America (where people often make them from scratch, too) but less well known in other countries, except possibly Germany, from where the tradition originates. 

Kits can be as basic as little cottages, or come in more elaborate forms like mansions, chateaux or castles.  There are some beautiful examples pictured at this blog, plus more information on gingerbread houses and kits.

Gingerbread house kits make great gifts because:

1.  Kids love building them – it’s fun, creative, unusual and edible.

2.  Parents love a gift that keeps their children occupied and learning, often for many hours.

3.  The whole family can be involved.

4.  The finished result is (usually) beautiful and (always) edible!

I gave a couple of kits as family gifts last Christmas, and they were great successes.  The fact that gingerbread houses are not a common tradition in my corner of the world makes the gift even more delightful for recipients, due to the novelty factor.