This is a baking tradition in my family. Every year, my mom would make gingerbread men for Christmas. As a child, I didn't much like the cookie, but preferred the icing. I got older, and at 12 I started baking the gingerbread myself. I haven't missed a year since then. I've given them as gifts to classmates, teachers and professors, colleagues, and a future spouse. For the first Christmas in my home, my mom sent me a surprise package in the mail containing my own set of gingerbread people cookie cutters so I can continue the tradition. I'm still baking them, when a family Christmas was 3,000 miles away and when it's a little closer with the in-laws.
loosely adapted from the Revel Cookbook, 1980