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The gingerbread house

Once upon a time there was a Great Uncle with no children of his own. He was a kind and fun Uncle and was considered ïmmediate” family. He joined us for Christmas at his Sister’s house and liked to sleep under the stars on his self inflating mattress. He often shared his bed with our dog Jacko, and although not a ‘doggy’person, shed a tear when Jacko left us last year.

Three Christmases ago this Uncle turned up in Mandurah with a gingerbread house he made all on his own. It was dense and full of lollies. It was wonky and yet a work of art. All eight of his nieces and nephews present oohed and aahhed over this house, displayed in cellophane. Uncle Pete as he is known to these children brought with the gingerbread house, his own criteria for choosing one child each year to be given the honour to SMASH the gingerbread house to pieces with cousins looking on in awe. He told these children that they were welcome to try and persuade him as to why he should choose them.

The middling children and the older children started their pleas. Uncle Pete giggled at their stories.

Boxing Day arrived and the announcement was made. Master S was given the honour due to the fact that he had had a difficult year with hospitalisations and was about to endure more blood tests and a sleep study, aged six. He swung that hammer quite timidly at first until egged on by his older cousins and sibling. With one big blow, pieces of gingerbread house went flying. Six cousins dived in for their handfulls of lollies (two cousins were babes in arms and more interested in milk).

Christmas 2010 rolled around and on the evening of Christmas Day Uncle Pete joined us. Much to the children’s delight he had another biscuity creation to admire. Without notice, they knew the drill and started charming their Great Uncle. It was a two day wait this time and Uncle Pete announced that the eldest child, miss i would be given the hammer. His reason was that she was venturing into a new season of her life, starting High School in the new year. She didn’t hesitate and smashed it in one blow. More sweet goodness for most, although miss i and miss e were no longer addicted to sugar and sampled only a piece or two.

This Christmas, the tradition had formed. Uncle Pete was planning to train it to Mandurah and sent his secret parcel down with Granny and Grandad earlier in the week. The cardboard box lay unnoticed until his arrival when all was revealed. Miss e and her 4 week older cousin, master L were starting to get desperate to win Uncle Pete over. First they started with hardships they had faced, challenges they were facing and then miss e offered a foot massage which had him melting literally in her hands. If there was ever a time he was going to change his already made up mind, this would be it.

They shared the title. The announcement was made the next morning and miss e and master L were given a hammer each. Their faces beamed as the other children (minus master x who was sleeping and has yet to experience the magic of the gingerbread house) watched in anticipation for the house to explode. Much laughter was shared as several mouths were filled with lollies and biscuit, and everyone lived happily ever after.



One Response

  1. What a terrific tradition he has created! My sister-in-law makes gingerbread and lets the kids (my nephews and Sapphire) make their own individual houses and decorations.

    This year, because we were in Switzerland, the tradition continued but with my other sister-in-law taking Sapphire’s role and sending us the photos. We were both sad at missing out but happy to be included.

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