This I Believe

Rebecca - Bettendorf, Iowa
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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From Masterpieces to Sponge Bob

Every Thanksgiving me, my mom, dad, brothers, and dog sit at our kitchen table and build a gingerbread village. We all set time aside from our separate lives to work together and have fun. For this reason, I believe in building gingerbread villages. When I was in sixth grade my mom came back from the Festival of Trees in Davenport where every year they have an exhibit where they display gingerbread houses sent in by people all over the Quad Cities. She told us that this year we were going to build a gingerbread town and that each person would decorate their own house in it. My mom and grandma bought pieces of gingerbread houses to put together, and once we finally got them to stay together without falling we started to decorate them.

Mine and my mom’s house was the prettiest, most colorful houses with candy canes and Santa and reindeer on top. Then, there was my dad who thinks he’s an artist and declared his house a masterpiece. This masterpiece had a roof covered in Fritos, walls covered in Hershey’s candy bars and candy bar wrappers, and was on chocolate stilts to protect it from a flood. If you ever ask him what’s wrong with his house he says, “Did anyone ever ask Michelangelo or Leonardo D’Vinci that question?” Then, there was my brother Marty’s house which was covered in different colored frosting and had Disney characters and Sponge Bob living on the roof. My other brother Pat’s house was the most expensive house with four or five toy cars in a five car garage, a satellite dish, and security guards protecting the house, and my dog Bixi never left the table just in case someone dropped a piece of candy on the floor.

After we finished the houses, we put them all on a piece of cardboard covered in foil and then we painted over the foil with white frosting for snow. We built an ice skating rink in the middle and my brothers and dad, the artist, built snowmen and snow forts out of marshmallows around it. We also made a road paved with M&M’s leading to each house and to the ice skating rink and we wrapped lights around the border of the cardboard for street lights.

Once both my brothers and I were in high school, we had less time to spend together as a family. When my parents weren’t working, I was working, and when I wasn’t working, my brothers were at football practice or weightlifting. Building the village is one of the few times we are all together having fun whether we’re laughing at my dad’s masterpiece or at Marty because he’s almost seventeen and still decorates his house with Sponge Bob. Because the gingerbread village brings my family together, I believe in building gingerbread villages.