The Non-Denominational Gingerbread House

The informant spoke of her yearly tradition with her best friend that has been happening for nearly a decade. Every year, the informant and her best friend make a gingerbread house around the holiday season. The two alternate each year for who buys the materials and whose how will it be made at. The pairing listen to Christmas music while they construct the house and “eat most of the frosting.” For the first few years, they would wait until the new year and then they would smash it, but as they got older, they decided they wanted to keep the house alive because of the hard work and effort they put into decorating it and constructing it. The informant’s friend, we’ll call Jane, grew up strictly Jewish, so she missed out on all the Christmas traditions. “Starting like, November first, it’s decorated like Christmas” so Jane always felt like she was missing out on something and wanted to be in that “Christmas spirit” that “makes us all warm and fuzzy inside… even though it’s like 80 degrees out and feels hard to get into the Christmas spirit.” The informant grew up celebrating both holidays because her parents didn’t believe that religion should restrain from enjoying the holidays. The two friends brought their worlds together and since Christmas is such a major holiday, even if you don’t celebrate it, you know the songs and the traditions. So Jane learned from the informant all the feel-good Christmas songs and traditions through the construction of the gingerbread house that would sometimes be decorated in greens and reds and sometimes in Hanukkah colors. The informant told this story with a lot of happiness in her voice and you can tell she was recalling a lot of memories to share this bit of folklore. They do this every year and haven’t missed a single once since when they started (now in their twenties, have been doing it since they were 12). I loved this story for how heartwarming it is and how wholesome it is to bring two religions together through gingerbread cookies!