Of the palace of the Snow Queen
Take care with the words

Bread of spices

Gingerbread
This year Older Bro created delicious gingerbread animals (horse/donkey in foreground; rooster in background); previous creations included a sturdy house and the amazing gingerbread train. Gingerbread is often translated into French as pain d'épices (literally bread of spices) / Dec. 2008

We had our traditional viewing of the movie It's A Wonderful Life. It seemed particularly timely this year. When there is a run on the bank (just saying those words makes me think back a few months to the specter of failing banks), George Bailey tells one of the men that the Bailey Building & Loan didn't foreclose on his house when he couldn't make the payments. The scene where Uncle Billy loses the bank's deposits to Mr. Potter because he's so excited about his nephew (Potter actually steals the money; he knows it's Uncle Billy's but he doesn't return it) is always too painful to watch and I have to leave the room. This year was especially bad — I feel like I've had my retirement savings stolen by Mr. Potter and his modern-day cronies. As Paulo said, it's all Potters running the world — are there no more George Baileys?

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