A gingerbread man named Cinnamon helps a young girl find her way home by Christmas morning.
When shrunken 10-year-old Nicola Claire can’t find her way home from a dream, a gingerbread man named Cinnamon suggests she eat the gingerbread house in her dream. With each morsel, she grows in statue and tries to avoid the looming cats. She eventually eats the entire house and Cinnamon himself, only to return to her parents’ kitchen table with St. Nicholas who gives her a stuffed gingerbread man named Cinnamon.
Ten-year-old Nicola Claire must make her gingerbread house before she goes to sleep on Christmas Eve. As Nicola places candy pieces artistically on the house as a creative masterpiece, she says how much she’d like to live in the Gingerbread House. Then, she places her head on the table for a moment’s rest, closing her eyes for a second, which then becomes minutes until she is asleep. In her dream, her stature shrinks, and she stands as tall as the gingerbread men in the kit, which is much smaller than real life.
As the dream goes on, she wanders through the rooms of the gingerbread home and holiday candies enjoying the sweet-smelling house. She makes her way to the kitchen with a peppermint fireplace and meets a gingerbread man named Cinnamon hanging a sugar wreath. Cinnamon tells her that he hopes she will be able to find her way home by Christmas morning. Since Nicola is not even sure how she got where she is in the first place, she doesn’t know how to find her way home. She sits down on the chocolate bar floor and sheds tears, melting part of the ground. Then, Cinnamon tells her a secret: if she eats the Gingerbread house, it won’t exist, and she’ll soon be home. Since her stomach shrunk, she has no idea how to eat the entire Gingerbread House. Cinnamon suggests making herself bigger, so the house becomes smaller and fits in her stomach. He places a jug of milk on the table. Nicola wonders if she concentrates enough if she can swallow the house whole. Cinnamon suggests that it might be better to take small bites. As a warning, Cinnamon reminds Nicola of cats in the neighborhood that would attack her.
So Nicola sets about eating the Gingerbread House one wall at a time, then the roof, the chimney, the floor, the door, the windows, and the front porch. As she eats the home, she grows in stature, and it becomes smaller, little by little. When the cats circle, she tries to hide until they leave. She must be gone before they return. So, she eats every last crumb of gingerbread, icing, and sugar. By the time she grows back into her real-life state, Cinnamon is very tiny, and she picks him up to look at him. As a friend, she can’t possibly eat him, but he insists that she swallow him, too. He says that he is the last morsel she needs to eat before she returns home. He is a gingerbread man and made to be eaten by a lovely girl like Nicola. As she eats her gingerbread friend whole, she takes a big drink of milk afterwards. Then, she awakes back at her kitchen table in her family’s home on Christmas Eve, far past midnight. Standing beside her is St. Nicholas, admiring the Gingerbread House that she built before dozing off into a dream. St. Nicholas hands her a stuffed gingerbread man as a Christmas gift named Cinnamon. She says she will love him forever.
Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters