Monday, February 11, 2019

Gingerbread Boys Surrounded By Hearts

Back on December 19th I wrote a post about a Christmas tradition I started when my children were little. That simple tradition was making lopsided Gingerbread Boys following the recipe on page 94 of Betty Crocker's New Boys and Girls Cook Book. I can't tell you when the cook book was published because some of the pages are missing and pages, like page 94, are worn down and have blotches of  stains from required ingredients. But I can still read it. I pull it out every year and make my gingerbread boys. And this year was no different except in one way.

My tradition of baking my lopsided gingerbread boys and leaving them without faces; without any decorating of any kind and when cooled, placing them in old tin cans and setting them around the house and once January had come and gone, sending them off to gingerbread boy heaven followed along without a hitch this year. That is, until January was coming to a close. That's when I realized I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to my faceless little friends. I know this sounds strange. After all, they are only gingerbread boys. There is no value to them. People associate gingerbread boys with Christmas and Christmas had come and gone. But still, something was gnawing at me. A few times I carried the tins to the kitchen with plans to empty the contents into the trash but each time I couldn't do it. I'd put the tins back and tell myself "maybe tomorrow."

Well, tomorrow for my lopsided gingerbread boys' demise still hasn't come and I think I've figured out why. In all of their simplicity, they give me comfort. They always have. I guess the gingerbread boys are like that feeling you get when you crawl out of bed and turn the coffee pot on. The thought of a cup of coffee is comforting as a new day begins. If you don't drink coffee, maybe the comfort those gingerbread boys bring to me is like that feeling you get when curling up in a favorite blanket or getting into a good book or listening to a train off in the distance.

Whatever it is, this year I am rewarding the little fellows. I am keeping them in their old tin cans through February surrounded by Valentine hearts. They certainly have earned each one of those shiny, beautiful dollar store hearts.