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December 19, 2008

ULM staffers build gingerbread ULM Christmas Village

There’s something almost magical about the sight of a homemade Gingerbread House this time of year, the flavorful concoction that entices us with its yummy gum drops, white-iced rooftops and flavorful licorice.

This week, several staff members of the Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center (SSC) at the University of Louisiana at Monroe took that delicious concept one step further by creating an entire Christmas Village – complete with a perfect replica of the ULM Library.

The library was created by artist and SSC staff member, Keith Joiner, who encouraged Barbara Michaelides, SSC Director of Retention, to act on her idea of building the Gingerbread Village. In addition to the library, other staff members helped complete the look with a train and depot; a Cajun house with outhouse, bayou, and pirogue; a home with a sled and ice cream cone trees growing outside; and a house with a doghouse in the back yard; wagons; and more.

“We usually have some sort of Christmas project or craft,” explained Michaelides. “I’ve always wanted to do a Gingerbread village and saw one in a magazine made with graham crackers. Keith knew what we needed in order to make it work. He gave me a shopping list and told me he would make a “sample” house with a pint-sized milk carton as the base.”

Joiner added to the foundations of the village by creating a dazzling, miniature ULM library over the course of one weekend.

“It was quite a work of art. We were all enthralled with it, but knew we could not possibly live up to that standard,” said Michaelides, adding, “Everyone on the staff set about making their own creation. So what you see is each individual’s take on a traditional Christmas craft. We work together as the ULM family and like to celebrate together before the holiday break.”

The staff said their greatest wish is that students and other visitors walking past the Center, where the village is available for viewing, might enjoy an old-fashioned heaping of yuletide cheer.

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