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Some of my family’s Christmas traditions are things that I look forward to all year long. Unfortunately they seem to come and go all too fast, but I try to enjoy them as much as I can before they become lingering memories. Some of them include:
- Chinese takeout for Christmas Eve dinner
- Re-enacting the Nativity with the kids on Christmas Eve
- Baking goodies
- Hilarious white elephant gift exchanges
- Playing George Winston’s December album all month long
- Being Secret Santa’s to some friends and family in need
- Decorating the tree as a family while playing Christmas music
- The most amazing Christmas breakfast, after opening presents
- and decorating gingerbread houses
I have siblings with families, who live all over the country. While we can’t all get together for the holidays that doesn’t stop us from trying to enjoy each other, and compete in a friendly gingerbread house decorating contest. Those of us who can get together will work on our houses in the same kitchen, but then we upload our photos online for us all to judge and view each other’s work. We don’t do this quite every year, but we sure have fun when we do. We’ve even been known to have prizes for the best house!
Sometimes we get extravagant with stained glass windows and a gummi Santa coming out of the chimney. This year, I did a little Walmart shopping and picked up my gingerbread house supplies. I snagged 4 packs of Wrigley’s Extra Polar Ice Gum because I thought the gum would make for the perfect gingerbread house roof.
I have seen some people make shingles out of gum, but with the help of some friends we made our very first gum tile roof. I love how it turned out! The Polar Ice gum works well because it reminds me of snow with the glistening blue specks on white. I really think the gum roof was the highlight of our gingerbread house.
To make a tile roof, start out by cutting sticks of Polar Ice Gum into thirds. Then place each piece of gum, one at a time, over a pen or pencil to give it that perfect curve. We found that using the pen helped to keep the gum from cracking and breaking. Just gentle enough to get the right look!
To start applying your gum tiles, squeeze two rows of frosting for every row of tiles. Start at the bottom of one side of the roof. Then carefully start attaching the gum to the roof, allowing the frosting to act as a glue. With every row that you add, let the tile slightly overlap the row of tiles below.
When both sides of the roof are complete and you are almost to the top, squeeze rows of frosting over the top of the last row of tiles (on both sides of the roof). Then finish the roof off by placing the remaining 3rds of gum, slightly bend, across the top of the roof; attaching itself to the top rows on both sides of the roof. Then decorate your house as you please!