Our gingerbread skyscaper

Our carved giraffe lends a distinctly African flair to Christmas.

.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Our gingerbread cookies might have ended up being an amoeba-like abomination (tasty, though) but our house was a seasonal triumph. I’d fully intended to make a traditional cottage, but C suggested we do a city slicking riff in a form more resonant with where we live: a gingerbread skyscraper.

After some consideration, we did a Flatiron Building inspired creation, complete with illuminated windows, snow and a yellow New York taxi cab.

The cab lasted a few hours before being devoured, and the entire structure barely made it to Christmas as it was slowly denuded of its snow, roof, stars and windows.

While the gingerbread was distinctly American, the tree flexed our family’s African roots. Presided over by our six-foot-plus tall carved giraffe, it sported beaded ornaments, ceramic hippos and the ornaments from my childhood.

It was a lovely and quiet season, with sumptuous and hearty home-cooked meals, quiet family days and moments to reflect on the past and hope for the future. Farewell to 2011 and welcome 2012… hope foresight will be 20/20 and wishing everyone a peaceful, healthy and joyous New Year.

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