Nobody is sure where gingerbread men came from originally. The use of gingerbread for art had already been established by both the Ancient Greeks and the Chinese. Christmas didn’t begin with the gingerbread man, it began with gingerbread houses. This has been a Christmas tradition amongst families in Germany since the 1800s. They would build the gingerbread houses and then place little gingerbread men figures in the houses. The German’s took this one step further and decided to base their gingerbread houses on the famous Brothers Grimm fairy-tale Hansel and Gretel. 

Ginger And Christmas

Ginger has always been associated with Christmas; the popular sweet treat of gingersnap cookies was enjoyed by many at Christmas time. Time moved on and the German’s started making Gingerbread houses as well as gingersnap cookies. 

Gingerbread men became popular again due to the popular folklore children’s story/nursery rhyme. This has changed a lot over the years and depends on who is telling the story. The story begins with a lonely woman and man in a cabin in the woods, they decide to make a gingerbread boy as they can’t have children of their own. 

When the gingerbread boy comes out of the oven he jumps up off the pan and runs off. While he is running off, he is shouting ‘run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m a gingerbread man. He comes across a cow who can’t catch him to eat him. He then comes across a fox who promises not to eat him, the gingerbread boy feels safe with the fox. Unfortunately, the fox then eats him. 

The moral of the Gingerbread man is to be careful who you trust. He trusted that the fox wouldn’t eat him, yet it did. 

A lot of people read this book at Christmas time to their children or grandchildren, and it has become a Christmas tradition among families. It’s common on Christmas Eve before putting milk and cookies out for Santa Clause

Beyond Christmas

Gingerbread has changed over the years; in the 16th century Queen Elizabeth I would get her gingerbread men in the shape of important guests who she was meeting. While the general shape still remains the same, they tend to be slimmer and taller. Gingerbread men are not the only treat served at Christmas, there may also be Christmas trees, stars, and angels. 

The gingerbread man has become the greatest icon that Christmas has ever had. It has turned into a fun activity for parents and children to do together. Decorating gingerbread men has become a staple activity over the yuletide season. They can come with icing, buttons, or even fancy outfits. They also make great gifts for teachers, friends, and grandparents. 

You can get so many decorations associated with the gingerbread man nowadays. These include garden lights and figurines. You can get a gingerbread man light family to display in your garden around Christmas time. You can also get indoor displays featuring gingerbread men. 

Gingerbread men are super yummy, and you should incorporate them into your Christmas traditions if you haven’t already done so.