Coming from a German background, Christmas has always meant Lebkuchen in my father's family. Having failed to get my aunt's recipe, I found this recipe from a friend in Germany, and made them last year for another friend who had spent his childhood in Germany. They brought tears to his eyes! They taste best when allowed to mellow for a while, so I make them as soon as I can after Thanksgiving. Prep time does not include chilling the dough overnight.