Traditions - Part Two

While hot glue replaced melted sugar as the adhesive of choice some thirty years ago (to the delight of our fingertips), most every other element and characteristic of our gingerbread house remains the same as when my family started our version of that holiday construction sixty-four years ago.  A few years ago, my wife did add her own touch with the creation and placement of five gingerbread versions of the five of us in our family as well as a friendly tree-munching moose. 
Align with six-decade-old pattern. 
So the tradition goes. 
Our children (and I, I must confess) continue another less-official, yet equally long-standing tradition between Thanksgiving and the destruction of our artistic creation some time in January.  They (we) slyly reduce the number of Red Hots on the path and "snow" on the roof and yard.  They (we) extend the so-called "five second rule" by say about 100,800 seconds.  I promise two-month-old Twizzlers, while difficult to chew, taste rather good. 

In addition to taste, the house provides other delights.  When I see our handiwork,
I think of how my father, as a teenager, must have sneaked candy; how my grandparents certainly burned their fingers annually with unforgiving melted sugar; and how my father and aunt must have disagreed on the placement of candy.  (I'll have to ask Aunt Judy.) 

I also delight in the memories of joining my parents and two sisters in the yearly adventure of guessing if the uncooked gingerbread would prove to be enough for all the parts and if the walls would remain standing.  Thanks to extra hot glue and discretely placed wood craft sticks, the 2016 house stands!

Sometime next month we will lay the house to rest in our trash can that will empty into the Waste Management truck early on a Thursday morning from which the house will be transferred to a landfill where various birds, rodents, and parasites will digest the sweet tastes. 

Morbid?  Perhaps; yet true. 

Nevertheless, eleven months from now, my family and I will once again mix, roll, glue, etc.  Why?  Because it's our tradition.  Because it's fun.  Because our actual house would somehow seem less full without the crafted little one in it during the latter months of each year. 

At this point in my writing, I, as a preacher and writer, feel obligated to somehow turn this gingerbread story into a parable with a lesson or a clearly stated "So here's the point".  However, I am ignoring that feeling.  I will leave the "Here's the point" to you.  I would love to hear from you about what you conclude. 

Thanks for reading.  Merry Christmas!

And . . . be careful with melted sugar and hot glue guns.

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