Thursday, December 24, 2020



Like many others, I enjoy specific Christmas traditions. I bake cookies, decorate the tree, and even send a few cards.

One thing I've never attempted at Christmas is to make a gingerbread house. Not ever. How about you?

As I considered this great gap in my Christmas celebrating abilities--I know I am not nearly artistic enough to make one--it got me to wondering. Did people in the nineteenth century or even earlier really make decorated houses out of gingerbread?

Turns out the answer is yes. But only because of an evil witch.

In 1812, Hansel and Gretel was published as a story in Germany. The evil witch's house inspired German bakers to create small decorated houses. Not from gingerbread, though. They used spiced honey biscuits called lebkuchen.

Whether it's from lebkuchen or gingerbread, I don't think I'll be making a gingerbread house in the future. It's just one thing I'll leave for someone else while I stick with no-bake cookies.

From my house to yours...

If you're looking for a fun Christmas romance, please consider Detective to the Rescue. From Wisconsin to Missouri, this young Pinkerton agent is desperate to find a missing woman and prove that she has what it takes to be a detective. Who knew it would involve a fake husband who becomes suddenly very real!


By nightfall, the dim lights of Henchville beckoned on the horizon. Surprisingly, Rushton wasn’t as far from Thad’s home as she’d imagined. They’d spent one night on the stage, but the horses traveled faster than that vehicle and returned them to Thad and Charity’s starting point in less time.

Riding into town, the three travelers passed a small, brick church. Snow flurries danced in the air and candles glowed in each of the church’s windows. The Christmas Eve service had started.

Organ music drifted to them. Silent night, holy night. Voices now joined the organ, drawing a wistful feeling from Charity. This was her first Christmas Eve as a believer, and how she wished she could spend it in that church.

Thad’s baritone joined the congregation as they rode past. Charity gladly joined him. She’d learned the song years before. The words hadn’t meant anything to her, at least nothing more than an old story or legend. This year, she treasured the sacrifice Christ made to become a man and bring her grace.

Grace and freedom, like Helga experienced today. Charity watched the expressions that woman struggled with as Thad and she sang of heavenly peace and knew at dawn she’d resigned herself to more bondage. Suddenly, she was free. Charity had some idea of her feelings since she had also been kidnapped once. She’d been spared the torments and abuse that Helga suffered. There was no way she could fully understand the look of pain on that woman’s face.


  1. I've never made a gingerbread house either. I always intended to--next year. Like you, I think I'll leave that creation to others.

  2. I never make a gingerbread house either unless you count the Christmas when I was a mom-helper with my daughter's brownie troop and the girls made houses out of graham crackers. What a mess :-) I can see why lebkuchen was used. My mom was German and ordered them each Christmas. I never liked them. I thought they were dry and didn't care for the taste. I think they would have make excellent walls for the gingerbread houses.


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