It's an annual ritual in our house. My husband got the recipe from his mom, long before I ever met him. So, over the last couple of days, we made the batter, rolled the dough, and baked the cookies. (Truthfully, I did most of the actual cooking, and my husband was chief dishwasher and cleaner-upper. Today, while you readers were in your classrooms teaching, I decorated all the little buggers, for hours and hours. And now they are done, and ready to pack little boxes and mail to special relatives!
For a lesson parallel, I used to make gingerbread 'cookies' each year with my 1st graders. It was a rare time when I actually provided the kids with pre-cut shapes. The point was the decorating. Some older kids, who had finished work early, would cut out gingerbread boys, girls, and houses from brown Kraft paper. The 1st graders selected which they wanted to paint, and I would let the older kids, who had done all the cutting, decorate the leftover 'cookies' with leftover 'icing' (tempera paint). I would premix frosting colors with tempera paint, using lots of white: I would provide pastel blue, pink, yellow, and green, as well as white, red, and brown. When the kids put their cookies in the drying rack at the end of art class,we would instead call it the oven. We would put them in there to bake!
I wish I had photos to share but I don't. But I guarantee, the cookies were always so cute & unique, with bow ties, mustaches, eyeglasses, aprons, hair bows, shoes, socks, suspenders, and more, all from the minds of 1st graders. And the nicest thing for this little Jewish art teacher is that anybody can decorate and enjoy gingerbread without worrying about what holiday they celebrate.