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Better (gingerbread) homes and gardens

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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Although it’s one of the most festive crafts to be done in December, gingerbread house decorating usually ends in a mess of sprinkles, half-eaten candy, and sticky frosting all over the place.

Luckily, the Wellesley Free Library doesn’t shy away from a craft just because of the mess that may follow.

On December 11, the library hosted three decorating sessions in the library craft room for children to enjoy. With every slot on both the sign-up and wait-lists filled in about 10 minutes, the children’s librarians knew a sweet time would be had.

With nearly every candy imaginable, the children at the Wellesley Free Library work on decorating gingerbread houses.

With nearly every candy imaginable, the children at the Wellesley Free Library work on decorating gingerbread houses.

Several of the children at the Wellesley Library’s gingerbread house decorating event use ice cream cones to add height to their cookie houses.

Several of the children at the Wellesley Library’s gingerbread house decorating event use ice cream cones to add height to their cookie houses.

“This is our third year doing it,” said Emma Weiler, Head of Children’s Services and the leader of the event. “It’s my third winter here, and I was the one to kind of bring this to the library. We have 75 signed up, but as long as I have the supplies, I won’t turn anyone away.”

Weiler makes all of the royal icing at home and brings it in to the library for the children to use. While the icing was intended for the gingerbread houses, it inevitably ended up on the faces and in the hair of the participants, on shirts and pants, and on the very chairs the children sat on.

The library staff didn’t seem to mind, though, as the grinning children reminded the staff that while the mess could be cleaned up in a matter of minutes, the kids’ memories of the program would last much longer.

“It’s so nice of the library to do this,” commented one parent as the first session came to an end. “And I just can’t believe how different each house is.”

The Wellesley Free Library’s gingerbread house decorating event serves as a bonding experience for parents and children, without the mess in their own kitchen to worry about.

The Wellesley Free Library’s gingerbread house decorating event serves as a bonding experience for parents and children, without the mess in their own kitchen to worry about.

While parents and caregivers were wiping icing off of their children’s faces and clothes, the kids were creating some amazing gingerbread houses. With supplies like peppermints, candy canes, gumdrops, gobstoppers, M&Ms, nonpareils, and practically every candy imaginable at the tips of their fingers, the gingerbread architects constructed castles, fortresses, and snow-covered cabins out of cookies and candies.

Weiler also brought in ice cream cones, which became snow-covered trees when turned upside down and decorated with green and white icing.

“It doesn’t take them too long to build a house, so I always encourage them to decorate their gardens, too.”

With their completed gingerbread houses and gardens ready to be taken home, the candy creations were guaranteed to boost holiday cheer.

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