Rachel Getting Merry: Gingerbread

by Rachel on December 7, 2011

Last week at work, we were working on a project and my coworker requested that we replace the word “fancier.” This led us to Thesaurus.com, which brought up the word…gingerbread?

OK, clearly this is an awesome word that needs to be part of the vernacular! I’m now going to add gingerbread to everything. Well, I mean, I think I already do — God knows I like elaborate, gaudy, and superflous ornamentation — I just wasn’t calling it that.

And is there a better time to add gingerbread to your life than the holidays?! I added a lot of gingerbread to my apartment over the weekend.

Well, first, I made some real gingerbread. Or, actually, ninjabread.

I put on Christmas music and then Eric and I used this gingerbread recipe and these cookie cutters to make the cookies that we both loved last year. I took them to work on Monday and everyone had the same reaction I did when I had them for the first time: “I didn’t think I liked gingerbread, but…wow.”

I also spent some time putting together a new table we had bought the night before for the living room. I like my apartment, but there is a bar separating the kitchen from the living room that, to me, feels like a huge waste of space. It’s ugly, not functional, and I’ve never been able to envision how I want it to look. We put a rug and the puppies’ crates under it, which helped a little, but there was a section of wall about 3 feet wide that was driving me crazy. I knew it just needed a small table or bookshelf, but I had been too cheap to buy anything. Finally, after hours of looking at pretty things on Pinterest and wanting to have my dream living space on Saturday, I had just had enough.

Once I had assembled the table, I was ready to take on the challenge of making shit look festive!

Later that night, Eric was watching the Kansas State basketball game and after about 10 minutes of listening to him coach from the couch and get genuinely emotional I just…couldn’t. I decided to go to Michaels because I had a coupon for 20 percent of of everything, even the sale stuff. When I got there, it was kind of packed. Probably because everything was already on sale.

From there, it’s kind of a blur, as I imagine most benders are. I just remember the moment of glee when I found the Christmas stuff they’ve had for months (naturally) that I’ve loved for months (because it’s mostly sparkly reindeer!) and saw that it was 50 percent off…plus I was going to get another 20 percent off. It was almost too much for me. Almost.

An hour or so later, I lugged four large bags back into the apartment. Quietly. The thing is, Eric isn’t as big of a fan of gingerbread as I am and I knew he wouldn’t be a fan of it when he was all hopped up on super-fan testosterone. I peeked around the corner of the entryway to see if K State was winning. Judging from how calm he was, they were. I entered the living room.

Eric finally noticed me and just said, “…why are you all covered in glitter?”

“It got pretty intense,” I said. I probably still had some glitter under my nose, presumably from the sprint I did back to the wreath asile as I was checking out and realized they were only ringing up as $15 (before the 20 percent off).

He didn’t seem to understand that this was an obvious sign of an addiction and that I was about to go crazy decorating the apartment. Well, hey, if you aren’t going to do an intervention, I’m sure as hell not going to ask for one. So the game came back on and I got down to decorating. And you guys…I decorated the whole apartment right around him while he watched the game and he didn’t notice a thing. I opened and shut doors, hanging up wreaths. I swore as I wrestled with the garland (which, delightfully, covered up the useless bar). Glitter piled up in the dogs’ crates like sawdust does in a shop. And yet every time I’d check to see if Eric was about to make a comment about how ridiculous I was making our apartment look, he’d just mutter something to the guy on the free throw line. I feel like me running around, banging into things, leaving a glitter trail, and turning our apartment into a winter wonderland while he just sat there giving himself frown lines is a microcosm of our outlooks on Christmas. It was actually my favorite holiday moment we’ve shared.

When all was said and done and the game was over, I was thrilled. I love holiday decor but this is the first time I’ve ever felt so deeply satisfied by my own decorations, probably because this is the first time I’ve really had my own space to do exactly what I want. I was able to work in all my decorations from last year plus the new items I bought and it felt cozy, well-lit, festive, and representative of all my favorite themes and colors (neutrals, browns, mixed metals/metallics, and evergreen).

(And I’m sure most of you know my style enough to know that that big white deer will be staying on my new table all year!)

The only thing missing from the living and dining area, you might notice, is our actual Christmas tree. Eric asked me if I wanted to put a tree in the living room and I said no. He asked why and right as I looked to the puppies and said “Uh…Beavis and Butthead?” he was looking at the puppies and saying, “Oh…Goofus and Gallant?”

So yeah, the Christmas tree is going up in our off-limits-to-the-beasts bedroom. There’s the 3-foot one on the bar and that’s the only one the dogs will ever know, at least until I can figure out how to make my (BRILLIANT) idea of an electric-fence-turned-tree-skirt a reality.

How are you adding gingerbread to your space this year? I’d love to hear your favorite themes, your best buys, etc. — and feel free to share pics in the comments using the upload option!