When it comes to baked goods, nothing quite says Christmas like gingerbread. There’s something old-fashioned and cozy about the fragrant treat. It makes a frequent appearance in my Christmastime series, especially whenever children are around.
Christmastime 1939 — at the very end of the prequel, Lillian Hapsey and her two boys, Tommy and Gabriel, attend a neighborhood Christmas party at the Rossi’s home. Lillian has baked a dessert to bring with them.
“She lifted the platter of gingerbread cake she had made the night before along with a container of caramel sauce and set them by the door.” (153)
Christmastime 1940 — the scent of baking gingerbread momentarily links Lillian and the reserved Mr. Drooms.
“That evening, Lillian began some of her holiday baking. The gingerbread loaf she had placed in the oven almost an hour ago now filled the small apartment with its spicy aroma….As Drooms passed Lillian, he caught a whiff of fresh-baked gingerbread pouring forth from her apartment. The old familiar scent flooded him with an unexpected sense of well-being, and made him feel that he could afford a little neighborliness.” (70-71)
Christmastime 1941 — The indomitable Mrs. Wilson organizes a Christmas Day spotter’s party on the roof and invites Lillian and her boys.
“I’ll be sure to bring some Christmas cookies and gingerbread,” said Lillian.
“Wonderful! And we’ll have the radio on – listening to Mr. Lionel Barrymore read ‘A Christmas Carol.’ It should be quite a day.” ( 226)
And at the end of the book, Lillian uses the excuse of gingerbread to make Tommy feel better.
“Tommy was so rarely downcast, that Lillian gave him a quick squeeze to cheer him up. “How about we have our gingerbread tonight? Wil you help me with the whipped cream?”
“Sure!” said Tommy, perking up. “That’ll make Gabriel happy.” (241)
Christmastime 1942 — After work, Mr. Mason enjoys the comforts of home.
“He popped his head in the kitchen and hugged his wife as she directed the children on decorating the gingerbread house, their hands and faces smudged with white icing. Everyone was in the holiday spirit.” (211)
Christmastime 1943 — Jessica and her best friend Shirley have spent hours baking items for the town’s annual Christmas dance.
“We’ll be selling raffle tickets and if you’re lucky, you just might win my date nut bread or Sue Ellen’s famous apple strudel.”
“Or my gingerbread house,” said Jessica, joining her friend.
“Just wait’ll you see it!” said Shirley. “A gingerbread house complete with snowdrifts, a snowman, and gum-drop trees.” (189)
Christmastime 1944 — At an impromptu tree trimming party, Kate offers some holiday treats.
“Kate came to life, providing hot cider and a plate of ginger bread.” (176)
Gingerbread houses, gingerbread men, gingerbread cookies or loafs — a nice touch to add to your holiday season!
(All images from my Pinterest boards.)