Is the Gingerbread Man a Christmas character now?

Cidu Bill on Nov 21st 2017


I do understand that generic gingerbread men happen at Christmas, but these all seem to be specific “people.”

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Christmas, comics | 39 responses so far

39 Responses to “Is the Gingerbread Man a Christmas character now?”

  1. Cidu Bill Nov 21st 2017 at 01:38 am 1

    Okay, I guess the “sale cherub” is generic. Nevermind.

  2. Jeff Lichtman Nov 21st 2017 at 01:39 am 2

    Is he Gingerbread Man from Shrek?

  3. Cidu Bill Nov 21st 2017 at 01:40 am 3

    Jeff, I think you’re right.

  4. Meryl A Nov 21st 2017 at 02:38 am 4

    Sale cherub?

    The original story was the gingerbread boy - not man, so maybe the gingerbread man is generic. I know the bear figurines I collect have a gingerbread male and gingerbread female bear in the Christmas bears.

  5. Cidu Bill Nov 21st 2017 at 02:45 am 5

    I don’t know how far back “the original story” was — but when I was a toddler, back when books were written on papyrus, it was already Gingerbread Man.

  6. James Pollock Nov 21st 2017 at 02:56 am 6

    “Run, run, as fast as you can!
    You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

    That story isn’t holiday-themed, but gingerbread houses are a Christmastime tradition, and gingerbread is gingerbread, right?

  7. fleabane Nov 21st 2017 at 03:19 am 7

    Ah, you guys are as crotchety as I am. No, the Gingerbread man is *not* a christmas character but the cartoonist thinks it is.

    And that’s the way the world works.

    The sales cherub isn’t a christmas character either. The cartoonist is conflating, baby new years, Valentines Day Cupid, and the Christmas angels (adults or occasionally preeteen children — but *always* clothed). The naked sales cupid is *not* christmas.

    And that’s the way the world works. Nobody appreciates us crotchety folk who recognize that things are just *wrong*.

  8. Cidu Bill Nov 21st 2017 at 03:35 am 8

    Exactly, James: “Run, run, you slow-footed goy! You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Boy!” never really caught on.

  9. Mona Nov 21st 2017 at 03:58 am 9

    Cidu Bill - LOL!

  10. James Pollock Nov 21st 2017 at 04:26 am 10

    “The sales cherub isn’t a christmas character either.”

    Perhaps not, but he sure seems to put in a lot of appearances around this time of year.

    The point being, the non-religious aspects of Christmas are starting to crowd earlier holidays. This is fine with some people, annoying to others.

    “Black Friday” shopping now starts at 6pm on Thursday, as several merchants have paid broadcasters to inform me recently.

    No, it doesn’t. They won’t be seeing any of my dollars, much less taking custody of them. Alas, other people are still permitted to have different opinions than mine, so the behavior will continue despite my rejection of it.

  11. Kilby Nov 21st 2017 at 07:29 am 11

    With one exception, all the characters appear to be hand-drawn copies: the rendition of “Cindy-Lou Who” is so exact that the image appears to have been taken directly from the cartoon (or the movie).

  12. Carl Nov 21st 2017 at 08:34 am 12

    Why would it have to be Christmas? The strip is commenting on how holidays are being rushed out as soon as the last one ends, or overlapping, in a constant rush, mostly by retailers. There’s a New Year icon there, after all, as well as Saint Nick.

  13. Kilby Nov 21st 2017 at 08:49 am 13

    @ Carl (12) - Perhaps it’s just a subconscious reaction to the fact that there are no dreidels, menorahs, or Hannukah bushes.

  14. Ted from Ft. Laud Nov 21st 2017 at 08:57 am 14

    Kilby - it certainly appears to be a direct copy rather than free handed, but there are a number of slight differences (in the hair and antennae, as well as a different color ornament and collar), relative to the picture in the book (this doesn’t match the cartoon). While a couple of the changes were probably to make it easier to cut out and overlay the image, at least a couple are completely within the main image, so it’s unclear why he decided to make them. Possibly he traced most of the main image and then free handed a few bits to save time?

  15. Kilby Nov 21st 2017 at 09:06 am 15

    P.S. @13 - That and the (much more relevant) fact that the “$ALE$” banner makes it clear that this is a Thanksgiving vs. Black Friday issue, and most of the end-of-year commercial traffic is Christmas-related.

  16. Kamino Neko Nov 21st 2017 at 09:07 am 16

    What New Year icon? Neither Father Time nor Baby New Year are in evidence.

    There are Santa, Rudolph, Herbie the Elf, Cindy Lou Who, the Nutcracker, and a Wise Man (all specifically Christmas personages), as well as a Gingerbread Man and puti (to the extent either of them is holiday-associated, the Gingerbread Man is Christmas, and the puti is very out of place as he’d be more associated with the Valentine’s Day version of Cupid).

  17. James Pollock Nov 21st 2017 at 09:10 am 17

    “most of the end-of-year commercial traffic is Christmas-related.”

    Or, to take Mr. Schulz’s side of it, none of it is.

  18. Andréa Nov 21st 2017 at 10:14 am 18

    “Black Friday” sales have been going on for days already, here in Florida and online . . .

  19. Caractacus Potts Nov 21st 2017 at 12:22 pm 19

    someone told the artist that they could do a really good drawing of Cindy Lou Who from Whoville, and then they created this poorly drawn mess to force it into a comic

  20. Kilby Nov 21st 2017 at 12:51 pm 20

    @ Kamino Neko (16) - I think the Carl meant (@12) the cherub with the “$ALE$” sign, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the “baby new year” figure.

  21. Brian in STL Nov 21st 2017 at 03:32 pm 21

    I would say that it’s a shepherd, not a Wise Man (could be Wise Guy). I don’t know if it’s a specific shepherd in the way that we have a specific Santa.

  22. Bob in Nashville Nov 21st 2017 at 08:16 pm 22

    Time for the Thanksgiving Grinch.

  23. Soup Dragon Nov 21st 2017 at 08:20 pm 23

    In Scandinavia, gingerbread men (and women) are very much Christmas characters.

  24. PDX DPOUG Nov 22nd 2017 at 12:26 am 24

    RE: Gingerbread man. I looked for a “gingerbread man” and couldn’t find one. I assume the reference is to the Nutcracker on the far right. I think nearly ballet company in America makes a large portion of its annual budget by staging a version of The Nutcracker during the Christmas holidays, usually waiting until after Thanksgiving for the first show of the run. I believe that is why that “gingerbread man” is there as a Christmas icon.
    I’ve seen almost this same Nutcracker reproduced in this comic on stage in the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s production of the ballet and in some of its advertising materials.

  25. Mark in Boston Nov 22nd 2017 at 01:40 am 25

    Also in Scandinavia, I guess you can have lutefisk any time you want, but it only seems to come out at Christmas time. Likewise, do you ever make gingerbread men any time other than Christmas?

  26. Kamino Neko Nov 22nd 2017 at 02:17 am 26

    Other than being a baby, the puti bears no real resemblance to Baby New Year - BNY doesn’t have wings, and wears a diaper and a sash with the year. The puti is naked and winged.

  27. Kamino Neko Nov 22nd 2017 at 02:20 am 27

    Gah. I have misspelled that repeatedly. Two ts, not one. Putti. And should really be putto, anyway.

  28. Andréa Nov 22nd 2017 at 09:03 am 28

    Having married into a Norwegian family, we ALL can enjoy this (more so than the lutefish itself) . . .

  29. CaroZ Nov 22nd 2017 at 02:09 pm 29

    The figure at the very top is perhaps a Tom Lehrer reference:

    “Angels we have heard on high / tell us to go out and buy”

  30. Andréa Nov 22nd 2017 at 02:58 pm 30

    . . . and Stan Freberg’s Green Christmas . . .

  31. Soup Dragon Nov 23rd 2017 at 10:30 am 31

    Mark #25: Lutefisk is traditional around Christmas. I don’t think it is eaten much at other times, not in Norway, at least. It is not a favourite of mine anyway, so I could be mistaken.
    Similarly, gingerbread (”pepperkaker”) is made and consumed around Christmas only. Apart from man and woman shapes, and houses, we have cookie cutters for many other shapes, many of the Christmas themed (stars, hearts, trees, pigs, …)

    PDX #24: There is a gingerbread man at the bottom right corner of the cartoon, by the knees of the nutcracker.

    Andréa #28: Cringe…. :-)

  32. Andréa Nov 23rd 2017 at 12:20 pm 32

    Speaking of Gingerbread people . . .

  33. Andréa Nov 24th 2017 at 09:57 am 33

    Even Lio gets into the ’spirit’ of things . . .

  34. larK Nov 24th 2017 at 10:22 pm 34

    Curated comics: thanks Andréa!

  35. Andréa Nov 25th 2017 at 08:59 pm 35

  36. Meryl A Nov 29th 2017 at 02:24 am 36

    I guess I am older than I think and the gingerbread “fellow” has aged from boy to man. :-)

    Lots of things are eaten only - or really mostly - for holidays. My mom never made potato latkes (pancakes) any time but Chanukah. Similarly Matzo kugel (pudding) was only made for Passover - the rest of the year it was noodle kugel. And all those (not so) yummy desserts for Passover never show up otherwise. Cadbury eggs only come out for Easter. Peeps used to be like that, but now they vary by season. Hey, even my birthday, one used to not be able to get candy corn other than for my birthday or and certainly same is the only time one finds orange color cakes with chocolate frosting,with plastic fence, fuzzy cat, plastic jack o’lantern, and cardboard witch for sale.

  37. Cidu Bill Nov 29th 2017 at 02:27 am 37

    Well, the Gingerbread Man goes back at least to 1958 (and in fact the version I had then is still in print, because I bought one for my niece last year)

  38. Andréa Dec 1st 2017 at 10:32 am 38

    NOW we finally know where he was running to . . .

  39. Cidu Bill Dec 1st 2017 at 06:08 pm 39

    When I was in Rochester NY in the mid-70s, Christmas Season “officially” began after Columbus Day. I guess they were ahead of their time.

    Who knows, maybe they start putting up decorations right after the 4th of July parade these days.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply