food grade markers...tick...bases....tick...the cutters...tick... and so it went on...
Eventually I had everything I thought we might need. I put it in a sturdy cardboard box and prowled across the road. There were two excited kittens waiting at the front door. They had their "cooking aprons" on and yelled down the passage to their grandmother, "Cat's here and she's got a whole box..." They are three and five years of age. They have never decorated gingerbread before.
We did it at "Grandma's house" because they have sturdy step stools there, just the right height to reach then bench top.
They took everything very carefully out of the carton and then stared silently (blissful silence for just a moment) at the picture on the box.
"Will it look like that?" asked Older Kitten
"No," said Younger Kitten.
"A bit like that," their grandmother said.
We put the pieces in order. They kneaded the ready to roll icing. They rolled out a little of it...enough to cover the sheep. With intense concentration Younger Kitten put the biscuit cutter on it, pressed down hard and then pulled away the excess icing oh so gently. She picked it up and placed it gently on the gingerbread shape. (Dotted with glycerine to keep the icing in place - but Grandma did that.) She managed to put it "zackerly" (exactly) on top too.
And so we went on. We coloured some of the icing. Mary has the traditional blue, the kings have darker blue, red, green. There is a "gold" box for one of the kings. They have beards. Joseph has a beard and so do the shepherds. The baby Jesus has a blanket - forget the "swaddling" cloth ("that would not be comfortable" Older Kitten informed us). There is a camel and a donkey with their features carefully marked.
The only problem is the stable and trying to get the star on top but "That's going to be Grandpa's job."
Their mother came to pick them up. They stood there consuming spare gingerbread and milk and telling her about how they had done it.
We waved them off and cleared up the mess. I just hope Grandpa has managed to do the building of the stable.