By Les Besser
Gingerbread has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. At the end of the first millennium, an Armenian monk brought it to Europe where it eventually became associated with Christmas. The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses began in 19th-century Germany as the result of the story, Hansel and Gretel.
Gingerbread houses also became popular in early America, and during Richard Nixon’s presidency they first appeared as part of the White House Christmas decorations. With each succeeding year, the houses grew more sophisticated, and in 1993 even included a large replica of the White House.
Decorating gingerbread houses has been a favorite wintertime activity at LCG. Typically, only a few dozen residents participated. But as our new F&B Director, James Hoevertsz, watched the residents’ enthusiastic involvement with Halloween and Veterans’ Day preparations, he came up with an idea. “We wanted to have more residents participate in the Gingerbread House decoration project,” James said. “The F&B Committee liked the idea and encouraged me to form Resident-Staff workshops, hosted by their Committee members, to do the work.”
The kitchen staff assembled the basic house structures for residents and all departments at LCG to decorate as they wished. The project was a big hit for visiting grandchildren, too, who happily labored over their own creations. The process developed a wonderful sense of cooperation and close camaraderie for the many participants.
The resulting Gingerbread “Housing Boom” was an unprecedented success. Over 170 sparkling, colorful models were created with 85 on display in each clubhouse! Exhibiting the clever creations with the whole community was the sweetest part of all!