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Gingerbread day in Flossmoor provides holiday wonder

The Hollinsworth and Robinson family work on decorating gingerbread houses at Flossmoor Public Library on Dec. 2
(Eric Crump photos and videos/H-F Chronicle)

Saturday, Dec. 2, was a day of gingerbread magic in Flossmoor, starting with the Gingerbread House Extravaganza at Flossmoor Public Library.

Youth Services Manager and gingerbread house construction chief Jenny Lucas said the current version of the event has been going for about seven years.

She builds the houses in advance so the icing/mortar has time to set. That allows families to focus on the fun of decorating the houses. The library provides a variety of candies to use for colorful (and tasty) decor.

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As the gingerbread house activity was winding down about 4 p.m. tours were beginning at Janet Gustafson’s home, where her annual sprawling gingerbread village was on display.

Gustafson has been building and showing her gingerbread creations for more than a half century, and her work continues to delight kids and adults alike. “Wow,” is the most common comment as visitors make their way around the village to see the intricate gingerbread dwellings and animated scenes.

Janet Gustafson, right, looks on as youngsters admire her elaborate gingerbread village.

This year, Gustafson’s village offered two challenges: find the troll and find the place where Flossmoor was represented without words.

Gustafson also provides a copy of an original poem to guests each year that tells a story about the village. This year, the poem told the story of how the happy residents of the village were able to deal with the mean troll who invaded their space.

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