Can a little cottage made of cookies and sugar plums bring families closer together? With a dash of nutmeg and a tiny sprinkle of wonder, they totally can! Every December, when fluffy snowflakes drift down from the sky and cheeks become rosy from the frosty air, a special season for making memories begins to unfold. Grab your rolling pins and glass pickles—yes, you read that right—we’re about to roll out some sweet holiday traditions!

Sometimes as I drive down a country road on a crisp winter night, I like to admire the warm glow coming from the windows of the quaint houses that pass by. My mind wanders and I imagine families cuddling up by the fireplace, decorating the mantel with fresh pine sprigs, and… having powdered sugar battles?!

We’ve all got holiday rituals that we look forward to, and today, we’re building one from the frosting foundation all the way up to the red licorice rooftop!

Source: Pixabay

Why do we love to repeat the same activities each year?

There’s a sense of comfort that comes along with holiday traditions. In a world where so much can seem out of our control, it’s nice to know that your favorite cookies will still make their appearance on the table, and Uncle John can always be counted on to fall asleep in the armchair with a bowl of popcorn.

For some, their quirky customs are an excuse to celebrate pure silliness! For example, since I was 15 years old, my older sister has tormented me by putting a hideous ceramic pear on our tablescape. My angsty teenage disgust of this fake brown fruit has become such a long-running joke that we’ve made it a tradition to surprise one another on holidays by sneaking it into stockings, putting it in the refrigerator, and even gift wrapping it! No matter the scenario, it’s always good for a laugh.

For others, though, these annual traditions can be a heartwarming way to honor the family members that can’t be with us to celebrate.

Which is exactly how Katherine Murray got her foot in the door of the gingerbread house biz!

Meet the “Mompreneur” who began making confectionary cottages with her mother when she was just a young ginger-snapper! Her passion for this tradition turned into a career that is now bringing holiday cheer to so many other families. Let’s see what she’s cookin’, shall we?

 

‌Thank you, True Calling Media, for the reminder that it really is possible to have it all! For more real-life stories from True Calling, check out their YouTube library. And, if you want to see more of Katherine’s delectable treats, follow her on Facebook!

“The key to decorating an amazing gingerbread house is just letting your creativity flow.” — Katherine Murray

If you are feeling inspired to build your own gingerbread house but aren’t sure where to start, try one of Katherine’s DIY gingerbread house kits! It’s never too late to start a sweet new tradition.

Scratching your head about the beginning of this article where I mentioned the glass pickle?

Well, this is another joyful example of something that our EWC team looks forward to with their families each year. For anyone who loved I SPY  books as a kid, or if you are just aiming to distract the little ones so you can sneak those stocking stuffers, try the Christmas Pickle!

How do you play? Simply hide an easily-camouflaged pickle ornament in your Christmas tree, and whoever finds it first gets a prize!

Sharing is caring!

Imagine your neighbor’s glee when they see your artfully decorated gingerbread house on their stoop! Or how about the excitement on your coworker’s face when they are informed of this refreshing new pickle-hiding game at the company party?

There’s no question about it, the best part about any holiday tradition is when it is shared with others. So whatever your “thing” is, use it to spread that cheer far and wide!

The Laroche Family Prank Pear

We want to see your holiday traditions! Send us a photo at [email protected].

And, if you are looking for an easy way to bring a new tradition to life in your family, why not introduce them to Ever Widening Circles? Here are some of my favorite articles to start with…

25 minutes

How to Grow Your Own Bowls, Lamps, and Baskets!

Can we seriously grow everything we need in our backyard? To explore this question, on this edition of Saturday's Around the World we're traveling to an enchanting land to meet a woman who can transform plants into almost any object you desire!

Read More

10 minutes

A True Tale of Finding a Best Friend in a Beluga Whale

Can an unlikely friendship help save an entire species? When an aquarium trainer met her counterpoint in a friendly beluga whale, a bond was formed that can teach us more than we ever dreamed possible. Let's dive into a real-life story that will have you heading to the nearest aquarium in search of a new best friend!

Read More

10 minutes

The Peacock Chair: The Humble Beginnings of a Great Equalizer

Could a chair be a symbol that connects us all? Well, from presidents to actors to even your own grandmother, for over a century, this chair has shown up time and time again in some of our most beloved images. But this piece of furniture has been more than just a beautiful place to rest—just take a look!

Read More

10 minutes

Playing Guitar with Your Toes & More Life Lessons from Mark Goffeney

Although Mark Goffeney has no arms, he's been playing the guitar since age nine. His talents as a musician are incredible, and his insights from a lifetime of performing can inspire us all to embrace our limitations more often!

Read More

I wish you a never-ending supply of love and happiness this holiday season.

Keep dreaming and notice the beauty around you! And if you build any gingerbread houses this year, please send them our way on Instagram or Twitter!

~Renee

Get more goodness!

Have a dose of good news sent to your inbox weekly or every other day (however often you think you need it) by subscribing to our newsletter!

Sign me up!

Notes:

  1. True Calling. “Gingerbread Mompreneur: How a Family Tradition Became a Thriving Business for This Baker and Mother of Five | Facebook.” Facebook Watch, True Calling, 22 Dec. 2017, www.facebook.com/truecallingmedia/videos/456098504788001/. Accessed 8 Dec. 2020.

Renee Laroche-Rheaume

Outreach Coordinator

Renee is a graduate of FIDM, and has held jobs in several industries such as apparel manufacturing, retail, professional office work, and even hospitality! Her creative outlook, wide variety of experiences, and desire to notice the beauty around us make her a great addition to the EWC team!