The First Christmas!

On Dec. 16, Mrs. Gingerbread (and others!)  are bringing Christmas to a town where Christmas and toys have been forbidden, a town filled with children who have never even heard of Santa. Yes, Santa Claus is coming to visit the children in the secluded polygamy community of Short Creek for the first time, and he needs your help!

Help Mrs. Gingerbread and friends visit the town where the Grinch stole Christmas, and fill it with Christmas trees, lights, toys, gingerbread cookies and love!


The twin polygamist towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona were once a single town known as Short Creek. In 1985, the town was split into two and renamed. That’s not all that has changed. Somewhere along the way, the town also lost Christmas…or maybe it never had it in the first place.

That’s right. It’s literally like the Grinch came in and stole Christmas from the entire town. But if you say this to a resident, they will look at you confused since they have never heard of the Grinch. Last year we toured the town with former FLDS Alyssa Bistline and Willy Steed (Lola Blanc wrote an article about our visit for Vice. See here.) We did not see a single house with Christmas lights.


In this joyful holiday season, while everyone is celebrating, remember that many who have recently left the FLDS polygamist church in Short Creek are not. They are facing significant life hurdles, from spiritual to financial, from physical to psychological. They could care less about Christmas because, as one recent escapee from the polygamous lifestyle said, “I don’t even know what Christmas is or how to celebrate it.” It’s the most magical season in our country, and these United States citizens do not even know what the Christmas spirit is.


These families and individuals from Short Creek, especially those who have been out for less than a year, have never had a Christmas tree, they’ve never heard of Santa Claus, they have never gone Christmas shopping or even heard Christmas carols, for that matter.

The Children Have Never Even Had A Christmas Stocking

The Children Have Never Even Had A Christmas Stocking

They don’t know who Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is. Blasphemy!

They have never put up Christmas decorations, have never seen a nativity scene and do not even know “the reason for the season,” or that most Americans celebrate Christmas believing that it honors the birth of Jesus. Since the FLDS polygamists were not allowed to watch TV or movies, they never even saw Christmas on television. It’s literally like the Grinch came in and stole Christmas from the entire town. (But if you make this analogy to a resident, they will look at you with a blank stare since they have never seen or heard of The Grinch That Stole Christmas. It’s a culture reference from the media that means nothing to them.)


Imagine that. An entire town has missed out on “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and they don’t even know it.

In fact, to make matters worse, the FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs made sure they were not having a wonderful life at all. In 2011 or 2012, he even banned toys! Children had to throw their toys in the trash. All of them.

Short Creek literally became the town with no toys.

Read the story about how heartbroken the children were to give up their beloved toys – from a mother who witnessed it HERE


Polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs outlawed toys, demanded all toys be discarded

Polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs outlawed toys, demanded all toys be discarded.




Notice the swings missing from a swing set in Short Creek

This is about to change.

Please join Mrs. Gingerbread in bringing back toys to the town where toys have been outlawed, and bringing Christmas to the town where children have never even heard of Santa!

On Dec. 16 we are having an event called The First Christmas, hosted by The Girlfriends Club (Leona Bateman, founder of this ex-FLDS women’s empowerment group).

It is the First Christmas for families fresh out of polygamy this year, and it is also the first community Christmas event ever to be held – at least since anyone can remember.

Presents, donations and love are being provided Church for the Nations (Pastor Lindsay), SafetyNet (Misty Nicol), Sound Choices Coalition (Kristyn Decker), and other non-profits, organizations and individuals which I will list shortly. Can you, your business, or your group help with have any of the following?
  • Artificial Christmas trees
  • Christmas lights – for trees and for homes
  • Christmas decorations (bulbs, garland, etc)
  • Stockings filled with goodies
If you can help in any way, please contact Christine Marie (aka Mrs. Gingerbread), the founder of Voices for Dignity, at 702-305-2220. More details coming soon!

We will reveal that Santa Claus will be coming to town, and Mrs. Gingerbread will be visiting with her talking gingerbread cookie puppets too!

In-kind donations can be sent to:

The First Christmas

1145 N. Canyon St.

Hildale, Utah 84784


Financial donations are desperately needed and are being handled by Sound Choices Coalition, which is a 501(c)3.





Gingerbread and Chocolate


Take all the health benefits of ginger and combine it with some sinfully delicious chocolate that has health properties of its own, and no doubt the results will taste divine, magical and delicious.

For starters, check out this recipe for Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Gingerbread Bars here.

Check out the other recipes I’ve collected as well which combine gingerbread and chocolate. Read more »

History of Cookie Molds

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 1.26.25 PMHistory of Molds: 15th to 17th Centuries

During the 15th and 16th Centuries, honey cake recipes varied from region to region. Cities such as Nuremburg, were soon associated with their own special variety of honey cakes and picture cookies. Artisans capable of carving complex woodcuts and engravings abounded in central Europe. Read more »

Cookie Molds from 3000 BC to Middle Ages

History of Molds: 3000 BC to Middle Ages
Simple modeling forms date from 3000 B. C. and attained artistic perfection in  Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.  The roots of molding picture cookies can be traced back to the ancent arts of pottery, woodcarving, and metal casting.  These Bronze Age arts gave mankind his earliest experience with molds for imprinting, decorating, and casting.  The finest pottery of the ancient world was crafted in Babylonia – even prior to 3000 B.C.  Engraved stamps and cylinder seals of Babylonia had decorative designs or scenes of everyday life and were used to seal documents in freshy made clay containers.  The cylinderical seal was rolled over clay to impress it much as springerle rolling pins would – some 400 years later – be used to impress edible dough.  The oldest evidence of sweet cakes (cookies) was found in the Indus Valley dating back to 2500 B.C.

Read more »

Five Tips for Making Gingerbread Houses

Anne Talbot DeCock – Creative Genius & Gingerbread Expert

Anne Talbot DeCock is an artist, social media professional, graphic designer, and Creative Marketing Consultant who has worked for the VIKING Culinary Center’s cooking school in Bryn Mawr, PA for over 10 years. It was in Pennsylvania at the cooking school where she started making her Christmas Gingerbread Houses to use as decorations as well as inspiration for the students. In her own words, Anne “absolutely loves creating these and has since expanded to making them for Easter and Halloween.”

I asked Anne to share the 5 most important things to remember when making a gingerbread house.

These are Anne’s Five Tips for Making Gingerbread Houses

1. Make sure that the house you make is very sturdy. Use cardboard inside as support if you can.

2. Take some time to make a plan or design first, don’t just start or you may wind up confused or disappointed. 

3. Always make sure you have enough icing. If the gingerbread is very dry, use a clean, light spray bottle to sparingly moisten the gingerbread before you decorate (DO NOT soak or it will get ruined) or your icing will fall too soon. The water makes a “glue” from the gingerbread and helps it blend with the icing really well. Cover any candy or icing work you have already done from the spray or the water will melt it.

4. Go slowly and think about what you are doing, measure if necessary.

5. Make it what YOU like, not what is expected. Don’t worry, be creative and have fun! Then you will LOVE it!

Below are some of the beautiful gingerbread houses made by Anne.

Follow Anne on twitter here: @theannetidote

Gingerbread Puppet Slideshow

Homemade Gift Idea Gallery


Check out this collection of photos with gingerbread-themed gift ideas.  So many ideas! From edible gifts to gift baskets to arts & crafts with gingerbread somehow involved, the creativity just keeps me inspired. I’ve included a couple little rhymes in case you want to make homemade cards as well.

Come sit at my table and share with me, Warm gingerbread cookies and cinnamon tea.

Fashioned in love was this special gift, simply to give your heart a lift.

Gingerbread girls are the sweetest by far, stuffed to give where you are.

Gingerbread people are the sweetest things and I wish you all the happiness this one brings.

Gingerbread Graphics


More coming soon.

Gingerbread Cookie Inspiration


Here is my collection of creative gingerbread cookie pictures, which will be ever-growing, to to provide you with inspiration for decorating ideas. Speaking of inspiration, William Shakespeare, in Love’s Labours Lost, penned a beautiful expression of true love as one young lover saying this to his sweetheart. “And I had but one penny in the world. Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.” Inspired?!

“How could one be in this world without feeling dismayed by it? Even if one paints flowers and gingerbread.” – Gerhard Richter, German artist born in 1932

Gingerbread Houses


I’ve been collecting photos of gingerbread houses to give you creative ideas as you prepare how you will be building and decorating your own gingerbread house.  Putting together a beautiful gingerbread house takes quite a bit of skill but it’s such an accomplishment! I love this quote.

From the Gingerbread House:
Naomi: “Lily, you’re not talking about muffins here, this is a gingerbread house from scratch, this is hard. Remember childbirth? This is harder. “