A recipe for creativity

On the joy—and theft—of making gingerbread houses.

A recipe for creativity

A recipe for creativity 1024 768 Looking out Loud

This is 60-second Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.


This weekend I went to my aunt’s house to make gingerbread houses. It’s become an annual family tradition. This year there were like 20 of us who showed up to decorate.

One house was inspired by Chevy Chase’s Christmas, another included a deer hunting stand on its roof (yeah, welcome to Indiana). My own kids strategy was to add as much candy as possible, so they’d have plenty to pick away at over the upcoming days.

Two words come to mind. The first is family. I truly do feel lucky to have a big family that likes to get together to do this kind of stuff. Have some fun, create something new, no pressure.

The other word is theft. As we were designing our houses, people were peeking around to snag ideas and bits of inspiration from others. But in the end, everyone came up with something very unique.

Pablo Picasso once said that “Great artists steal.” Steve Jobs stole this expression and applied it to build the world’s biggest tech company.

It’s a reminder that creativity rarely comes from some deep, personal inner fountain. It’s not something that some people have and others don’t. Creativity comes from the mixing together of sights and sounds and ideas that are already out there. So if you want to be more creative, often it’s as simple as just opening your eyes.

→ Here’s another fun, creative project to do with kids to teach them theft. How you like them apples?



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