When I think back to Thanksgiving as a kid, I'm filled with memories of my grandma's candied yams that melted in my mouth and of my grandpa's gravy that he'd make in mass quantity. The gravy was so good that I may or may not have snuck tastes of it with my fingers straight out of the pot when I thought nobody was looking.

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I remember the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I'd run around my grandparent's yard and the warmth of the fire in the wood-stove, in front of which I'd curl up and nap after eating a big meal. I remember Thanksgiving as being one of the few days that my siblings and I were allowed to sit at the "big people" table in the formal dining room and I remember laughter and togetherness.  We weren't distracted by computers or cell phones or television.  It was just us, together and making memories.

What I remember most about Thanksgiving though was our family tradition of making gingerbread houses. I don't know who came up with the idea, it was either my mom or grandma, but it was a way to keep me and my siblings from being underfoot while the grownups prepared the feast. We kids would sit at the kitchen table and create gingerbread houses and somehow it always became a competition to see who could make the best house or who could get through the whole craft without eating all of their candy before their house was finished.

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This year, for the first time in many years, my house will be filled with family members, including children and I've already bought a variety of gingerbread kits for them to build together.

So, if you're looking for a way to keep the kids occupied while you cook, seriously think about following in the footsteps of my family and distracting the kids with gingerbread houses.

No time to shop for a gingerbread kit? Order one from Amazon and have it delivered to your house as early as tomorrow!

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