Monday, December 7, 2009

The Gingerbread Singers

This is my friend Melissa. She runs the Solvang Bakery with her mom, Susan. A lot of people think Melissa looks like Kelly Ripa, which is funny, because Melissa and Susan have made custom gingerbread houses for celebs like Oprah Winfrey and Kelly Ripa. They ship hundreds of these intricate little houses across the country each December. Pretty much from now until the new year, they don't sleep. They survive on gumdrops and caffeine. Not that they're complaining. You'll never see Melissa without that infectious smile!

Every Christmas, in addition to designing the custom gingerbread houses, Solvang Bakery offers workshops where people can come to the bakery and have everything they need to create their own gingerbread houses. Three years ago Melissa asked me and two friends if we would sing Christmas carols during the workshops.

Like I would turn down an opportunity to sing!

It has become our holiday tradition, the first Saturday of December, to sing carols at the bakery. We start at noon, right after the Christmas parade, and we keep at it until about 5pm. It's a long day, but a lot of fun. We sing a capella, usually inside the café area, but sometimes we venture outside. The only problem with being outside is the tourists who stop to take our picture. As if we're a Solvang attraction. *sigh* We should have been charging, especially the lady who was videotaping us on her phone. I mean, really!

Today is the Third Day of Christmas, and as you may have guessed, one of today's prizes involves food -- what are the holidays without treats?

Choice #1 is a delicious set of 4 gingerbread men from Solvang Bakery. I can't even begin to tell you how yummy these are. They'll be shipped fresh, your own little piece of Solvang to enjoy :)

Choice #2 is a $10 gift card from Amazon. Use it to buy a gift for someone else, or for yourself!

Choice #3 is UNDERCOVER by Beth Kephart. You can read my interview with Beth or visit her blog. She is a great writer and a wonderful person. This is the paperback edition of UNDERCOVER, with extras in the back. It is a very gently used copy that I read as soon as it came from Amazon.

If you'd like to be entered in the drawing, make sure you're a follower, and leave a comment. That's it!

The winner from the Second Day of Christmas is:

Congratulations, Karen!! Email me at solvangsherrie at gmail dot com and let me know which prize you would like me to send from Day Two.

I'll be drawing for today's prizes on Tuesday night at 10pm, PST. Have a great Monday!


storyqueen said...

I love gingerbread houses. It is a tradition at my house to make them each year...(but ours are often not structurally sound..)

The singing sounds so cool1!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, you sing all afternoon. I can feel the high of it and sure wish I could hear it. Maybe next year I'll drive to Solvang the first Saturday in December. But I promise not to videotape.
This post makes me think you live in a heavenly place.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

She really does look like Kelly Ripa! Those gingerbread houses look divine, Sherrie. Great pictures! :)

Anonymous said...

I've always wished I could sing--how fun for you to get to do this. And maybe you should think of yourselves as a really nice tourist attraction! :)


Susan R. Mills said...

Congrats to Karen! Those gingerbread houses look incredible, and Melissa does resemble Kelly Rips. She's beautiful.

Lori W. said...

Now you're offering a choice of food or books?! I'm loving this.

That is wonderful that you get to sing. I think a trip to the bakery post critique group is in order. Don't forget I want to hear that song from your old band, too. :)

Jackee said...

Hi, Sherrie! I've been lurking on your blog just long enough that now you tempt me cookies AND books... I'm soooo following.

Thanks for all your great giveaways and interviews! You have an awesome blog.

lisa and laura said...

I love that you're a caroler! I can't believe I didn't know that you enjoyed singing so much.

Those ginger bread houses are beautiful!

Katie Anderson said...

Oh man, what fun! I tried to make those one year and they were TERRIBLE! The next year I bought the pre fab kind and it still turned out awful :-(

Not my calling.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Shelley: What a fun tradition! The singing was a blast :)

Tricia: We do have a little slice of heaven here in Solvang.

Shannon: The gingerbread houses ARE divine and isn't the resemblance amazing?!

Becky: The singing is fun, but it'll be a long time before I consider myself a tourist attraction (as in NEVER!!)

Susan: Can you just imagine the heavenly aroma in that bakery? Yeah, Melissa totally looks like Kelly and she is one of the nicest people I know.

Lori: Food and books go so well together, don't you think :D

Jackee: Thanks for un-lurking yourself! Glad to meet you!

LiLa: I LOVE to sing. I was in bands from high school to 30 and came this close to getting signed. *sigh* Now I'm trying for a different type of signing!

Katie: I guess you can keep your day job as a writer instead of doing the gingerbread thing :) Merry Christmas to you too!

Kelly Polark said...

Those houses look beautiful (and yummy!). Your friend does look like Kelly Ripa!
That is so fun that you carol at the bakery. You should feel flattered that people want to video or photo you carolers! Tell that lady to put it on youtube so I can hear your beautiful voice!!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i love this cover.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Kelly: The caroling is fun and the houses are amazing. I might just post us singing at some point :)

Shelli: Great cover for a great book :)

Dawn Simon said...

I think Solvang is such a great place! Your friend Melissa does look like Kelly Ripa--very pretty. :) I'm impressed that you can sing! I can, too, but nobody would want to hear me. Hee! Actually, that's not true. Kids 0 - 4-ish seem to like my voice, God bless 'em.

BTW, have you ever attended Santa Barbara's annual Breakfast with the Authors? Someone gave me an article about it, and it sounds neat.

Kelly H-Y said...

What a fun post! Those houses are amazing! I wish I lived closer so I could visit the store and hear you sing! Very fun!

Hardygirl said...

This sounds magical! And, the houses are adorable.


PJ Hoover said...

She totally looks like Kelly Ripa! And those houses are amazing!

Karen Denise said...

WOW! How'd I miss this! YAY for me! Man, I don't know what I want...but I'll think about it and email you. Thanks so much!!

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