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Gingerbread party and icing factory: please leave me some pink icing, too!

Look, I made a window!

When our group arrived at the Lilleküla Safe House, the gingerbread party had already begun. The arriving visitors were met with the glances of both big and small children covered in flour, bustling about at several tables. The group of older children chopped glass candies into pieces, and the very little ones formed spruces and hearts, balls and angels from the dough, secretly imitating the older kids. At the long table, I found a group of teenage girls, along with some older boys, who were actively decorating the gingerbread cookies. It was a bit of a struggle for me to somehow squeeze myself into the rows of gingerbread bakers.

Finally, I got lucky, an 8-year-old lad took me under his wing and we started creating all sorts of interesting shapes with great energy – for this, we did not even need the cookie cutters, as creativity must flow freely and be free of limits. So it happened that when one of the first trays came out of the oven, we were met with a window of beautiful colourful glass, through which it was exciting to observe the gingerbread world.

As the brown mountain of dough slowly began to recede, we could soon see the oven trays, with which the whole big living room was packed, filling up real fast. The children had sought out, with the help of the adults, all of the trays that were in any condition to go into the oven; but clearly there were not enough. 

And when the first warm breads started to come out ... no, no ... gingerbreads, to be precise, it was interesting to see those cars with colourful caramel lights and house windows, which were glimmering like golden crystals. One angel got herself a pretty red crystal heart, and there was a Christmas tree glimmering with green caramel Christmas decorations. We had reached the best part, icing time!

Please leave me some pink icing, too! 

In silence and with an earnest expression, a teenage girl seized the pink icing bag and started decorating the gingerbread hearts, just fresh out of the oven, one by one. She was so much in her element that she forgot the conversation with her friends, concentrating more and more on the art she was giving birth to on the gingerbread. When all the hearts were dressed in pretty pink, the girl set her gigantic heart collection apart from the other decorated gingerbread, on the window sill. In response to my inquiring expression, she answered, smiling slyly: I’m saving them for my mother.”

At the same time there was a boy of preschool age finishing up a female form, with a big and broad skirt, decorated with different colours. Upon hearing that his companion had put her hearts aside for her mother, he announced that he created a mother by himself from the gingerbread, and that no one else was allowed take that beauty from the window sill.

Again next year

When the last tray came out of the oven and all the icing tubes were squeezed dry, the children began to look at the result of their actions. Such a gingerbread harvest had not been seen for a long time! Despite the fact that the field was fertile and the smells themselves filled everyone’s stomachs, the volunteers that participated in the gingerbread party received a notification a few days afterwards stating that even though the harvest was bountiful, it was also delicious, and that with the anticipation of the arrival of Christmas they ran out in less than two days, with the entire colourful holiday realm having disappeared into the stomachs of the bakers, as if by magic. Onward with new energy in the New Year– to the gingerbread party of course!

Merike Villard
SEB Heategevusfond

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