Home Sweet Home
Written & Photographed by Kathryn McBroom
It’s a house party! Local children enjoy constructing gingerbread houses at Madison Artists’ Guild workshop The flurry of activity in the Madison Morgan Cultural Center last Friday night could have rivaled that of Santa’s workshop. Upwards of 60 children descended on MMCC’s hall to participate in the Madison Artist Guild’s annual Holiday Gingerbread House Workshop. Beginning at 6 p.m. children ages 4-12 descended upon the hall, which had been transformed to look like a winter wonderland, to build the gingerbread house of their dreams. Accompanied by parents, grandparents, and mentors, children rushed to their assigned table armed with only their required cardboard platform and excitement that only a child at Christmas could have. Many of the evening’s attendees were experiencing MAG’s workshop for the first time. “This was her [Avery’s] first year. She was really excited,” said Hannah Johnson, mother of Avery Johnson. For others it’s an event that has become a holiday tradition. “This is my fifth year,” said Jack Meyer. “You’re never too old.” Amidst the rush to begin creating their edible masterpieces, MAG members worked the room, in themed holiday attire no less, to help each table of children with their creation. “It’s definitely organized chaos!” MAG director Karen Strelecki said. Before being left to their own devices, children were gathered to the front of the hall where a lavish table of treats was laid out. With all eyes glued on “Mrs. Claus,” the night’s designated helper in charge, kids were given decorating tips and tricks on how to make their gingerbread house withstand the weight of the treats adorning it. With the ring of a jingle bell, children dispersed to their tables, armed with what looked like the entire contents of Antique Sweets. Working fast and furiously with Necco wafers, graham crackers Twizzlers, gumdrops, icing, gingerbread cottages began popping up quickly. First the walls, then the roof, and in no time gumdrop shingles and candy cane window panes appeared. Donning their Santa hats, teen elves recruited by MAG circled the room answering questions and lending a helpful hand when needed. Equipped with her jingle bells Mrs. Claus monitored each child’s progress. As is tradition, when she discovered an especially creative house, Mrs. Claus would ring her bells loudly, summoning the other children to celebrate that particular child’s creation. While icing the roof of her gingerbread house, Beyonca Williams earned a ring of Mrs. Claus’ bells. Children from neighboring tables gathered to clap for Beyonca and catch a glimpse of Beyonca’s design. Beyonca just smiled sweetly as she held up her gingerbread house for all her friends to see.
Printed in the 12-16-10 edition