Christmas at the Sprieser residence is a festive affair. We do it pretty much like everyone else, though our big dinner is Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day. We bring in family—in this case, family we’ve picked: two of our oldest friends, women who basically raised my brother and me—and exchange gifts. And we build a house out of gingerbread.
The gingerbread thing is truly one of my earliest memories. Back in the day my mom would actually bake the gingerbread fresh, and we used these cardboard molds to slice correctly sized pieces. At some point in my young life I announced, hey, Necco wafers would be really good roof tiles, and this turned out to be such a stroke of genius that I think my mom brags about it to others: “Oh, yes, our daughter Lauren speaks three languages, represents her country in international competition, and as a child thought of using Necco wafers as gingerbread-house roof tiles. Isn’t she smashing?” Moms are great like that!
At some point we got lazy (no, not lazy—more efficient and more desirous of promoting the economy of China. THAT’s it.) and started buying pre-fab kits, although those always come with the WORST candy, so we had to supplement with our own.
And this year, wonderful working student Nicole’s mom sent us the piece de resistance: a gingerbread BARN, complete with little horsey head to stick in the window.
So there were Necco wafers and Peep Trees and a chocolate Santa that, unfortunately, bore no resemblance to The Man himself, but rather looked like a large chocolate turd. And that got me thinking: Clearly, what this gingerbarn needs is a manure pile. I think this should reveal something about my character.
So our gingerbarn has a poop pit. The horses got a bran mash with peppermint candy canes in it. And today, Christmas day, they are all enjoying a day of turnout, as the snow falls in big, fluffy white flakes. Traffic will be a train wreck; I’m sure Dulles is shutting down as we speak, stranding my family. It’ll be a mess. But like so much, it’ll be a beautiful mess.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a tootsie roll poop pile. I mean, good night!