Don't Mess With Christmas

Don't mess with Christmas or you'll pay. Certain rituals are sacred and as a parent you need to understand this early on or you'll wind up on Santa's naughty list ...

We had a little Christmas party at my daughter's friend's house the other day, and we made a gingerbread house. Now if I made a gingerbread house myself growing up, I don't remember it.

My daughter has come home from a friend's house plenty of times with a gingerbread house in hand, but this is the first time I ever witnessed the actual building of one, and let me tell you it's not easy.

A Scrooge might say it is quite tedious, but as I'm basking in the pre-Christmas glow, I'll say it's a joyful experience.

First you've got to spread the icing all over the house to make sure the candy sticks. Then you decide what candy to put where. Do you want it to be abstract or symmetrical? Do you want a chimney, a front walkway, a decorative door and windows? There are a lot of decisions to make. Another issue – if you overload the thing, the roof and sometimes the walls are likely to cave in.

So when the masterpiece was finished we loaded it into the car and my daughter insisted on holding it in her lap.

You can see where this is going.

Under the best of circumstances, traveling with a gingerbread house is a delicate process, but one wrong move, bye-bye gingerbread house.

He obviously didn't see me, the old man who was pulling through two spots in the gym parking lot. I knew that he was going to hit me if I didn't stop on a dime. So I slammed on the breaks.

When I heard my daughter scream, I knew exactly what had happened. I could tell from the type of cry she made that she wasn't hurt, but that the gingerbread house had bitten the dust. I immediately stopped, jumped out and ran around to her side of the car. There it was in a million little pieces on the floor of the car. My daughter sat still holding the empty tray where the house had been, crocodile tears running down her face.

Immediately, I knew what I had to do. We ran to Wal-Mart – no gingerbread house. We went to two grocery stores – nothing. I promised her I would find one, and I will. I'm still looking.

We made Christmas cookies and ornaments yesterday with her friends, but I'm still in the doghouse. Hopefully I'll come up with a Christmas miracle ...


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