Making gingerbread houses at Christmas time is something we thought about and occasionally did. We would buy the little kits and half-heartedly put them together. Then I would get irritated at the ugly little messes and throw them away, to the dismay of no one. This year was different. This year I baked all the pieces homemade. I mixed and rolled and carefully cut, then trimmed after baking to make perfectly even pieces. I was nervous. If my cookies weren’t firm enough or even enough in size and shape, the whole house would be a mess. My friend Katie and I each baked our own children’s house pieces and she made all the royal icing. Her family had sent some candies from America and we bought what we could here to give the kiddos plenty of festive options. Katie even shared spoons made of peppermint candy, that were sent especially for their family to enjoy, with all the kids during a break for hot chocolate while the icing dried.Much to our relief, the cookies not only tasted fabulous, but they held up well to the pressure of icing and little hands. The kids had an incredible time designing their houses, and the creativity they all showed was amazing to watch. The Lord truly made us all so unique from one another, and it was never more evident as it was when we stepped backed to see their creations.There was also a moment or two of silliness when the sugar high got the best of them and the icing bags turned inward and found its way to their faces.I was really surprised at how intricate the houses ended up and how closely they all paid attention to detail. Gracie, Faith, and Ellie displayed their houses on our “mantle” for the next week, and all our visitors couldn’t believe they were handmade. There were moments when I couldn’t believe it either. I wish their attention could be so finely tuned in to schoolwork!From beginning to end. While the houses were pretty awesome, the time with our friends is what really made it special. What a gift true friends are!