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Another Gingerbread House
by Darlene Barriere
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)
A Candy House for The Kamloops Woman's Shelter
Each year, there are any number of children in our local woman's shelter here in Kamloops. As a child, I was never in a shelter, but I can tell you, there were many times that my mother and we five kids should have been. I know all too well what these children in the shelters are dealing with. Christmas for us was usually a time of wonderment and excitement, but that wonderment and excitement was always fused with fear, apprehension and the predictably unpredictable hair-trigger temper of my father. It is this understanding that drives me to put a well-deserved smile on the faces of the children who have to call the shelter their home for the holidays.
The staff at the shelter have incorporated a tradition with my annual gingerbread house contributions: On New Year's Eve they break the house in order to say goodbye to the old year and "break in" the new. It is during this "breaking in" time that the smallest of residents discover all the treats I've hidden inside the house. This year, the house is piled with Lifesaver suckers.
I hope you, my visitors, will consider putting a deserving smile on the face of a child by decorating a Christmas house and donating it this holiday season.