Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Christmas stockings gingerbread houses

Welcome to week 3 of Christmas Traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia. 


There are many Christmas traditions practised  around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition would be very welcome to showcase them here  I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Christmas if you are like me then I am still thinking I have lots of time but the reality is we don’t as the time just flies past and then, after all, that panic, last-minute shopping and preparation it will be over!

We are then left wondering why all the panic, last-minute present buying, cleaning and cooking. Was it worth it?

All the queues for the sales start Boxing Day and a lot of the presents we have lovingly bought and some of you will have scrimped and saved to buy are now being virtually given away….Why do we do it?

Along the way and through the years the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.

I remember getting a sock with a tangerine in the toe, little packets of sweeties, sugar mice a couple of little presents and being so excited. Tangerines were a real treat at Christmas. My dad would come home Christmas Eve with the Turkey or Capon, Fruit and Chocolates… We would be so excited as we only had those goodies at Christmas and would be eagerly awaiting to be asked if we wanted one.


The dustman, milkman and coal man would get their Christmas tip and a mince-pie. Christmas was a special time and now it is so commercialised it has taken away the magic…

I would always get a Rupert the Bear Annual, new slippers and a dressing gown. But we were happy…what happened…commercialisation happened…are children as happy with what they get now….I don’t think so…certainly not in the western world….and that’s what is highlighted here…I have noticed the difference in what is in the shops and what the children ask for… even my own grandson who was born in the Uk and spent his first 6 years there…….Is happy to just get a new hot wheels car that changes colour and why?  Because his friends don’t have so much…the shops don’t display or have so much and who wants to play inside when you have lovely beaches, lakes and waterfalls to visit.

Yes, you can get the latest iPhone etc and the young teenagers probably hanker after one but also just to have a cheap Nokia is ok too.

Christmas Jumper Corner…

Did any of you see the latest in Christmas Jumpers on FB this week…??

It takes Christmas jumpers to a whole new level…Apparently, it is quite easy to make your own from an old jumper… I don’t think I will be wearing one quite like that…Sorry, I didn’t want to copy the picture but it looks like there are plenty of DIY ones on Instagram for those who want to do a search?…


But please send in Christmas jumper pics… Let’s have a bit of fun…


Gingerbread Houses…I have seen pictures of the most elaborate ones and marvel at the talent of some of the bakers …The intricate icing they do is just exquisite…

Me… I am not a baker…Maybe bread, Christmas pies and puddings… I just don’t have the patience any more to spend hours… Icing cakes…

gingerbread house christmas

These little ones look pretty and I know Lily is after me to make one I think something like this will be my limit…Do you make a gingerbread house every year? If so please share …Any hints and tips will be gratefully received and credited to you…

Where did all of this start?

Well despite the quaint tradition of building festive gingerbread houses, gingerbread was once pretty serious business…….

Spices……. particularly ginger and cinnamon, have preservative properties, and it is thought that gingerbread was first professionally baked in Europe around the 11th century when exotic spices were brought back from the Middle East……..

It is said that Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, introduced gingerbread to France, where highly skilled gingerbread bakers were chosen to form professional gingerbread baker guilds that were highly regarded in the bakery profession.

In certain areas of Europe, only invited members of the gingerbread baker’s guild were permitted to bake and sell gingerbread commercially, with the restrictions only lifted by the Guild at Christmas and Easter – when any old cook or baker could give it a try.

Now, of course, cooks all over the world bake gingerbread at Christmas, some more ambitious than others……….

Did you know?

The largest gingerbread house ever created was made by a group of bakers in Texas, the US – they built a 2,520-square-foot gingerbread house to raise funds for a local hospital, containing over 7,200 eggs, 3,000 kg of flour, and an estimated 35.8 million calories…Wow, some baking… What a marathon.

This gingerbread house recipe won’t bake you a mansion but will show you how to create some pretty gingerbread houses….. So have fun and get making those houses. This recipe is a Paul Hollywood recipe of Great British Bake off fame so I think it should be pretty good and one I will be trying.

Did you know?

Every Christmas elf has a bell on the tip of their shoes…

Did you know?

How  Santa gets back up the chimney??? He touches the side of his nose with his finger, smiles and nods and in a trice, he is back in his sleigh…Magic 



Turkey is the traditional meal in our house at Christmas and this year we hope to have one of our own home raised turkeys… Turkey is a lovely low-fat meat which has a lot of health benefits…To learn more about the turkey here is Mine and Sally’s post on Turkey and the health benefits plus recipes…Enjoy!


One of our boys…Happy and carefree… Click the link below for Health tips, recipes and How to Cook that Turkey…

Thank you so much for reading Christmas Traditions and Treats I hope you have enjoyed it? xxx


About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

Connect to Carol



Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

32 thoughts on “Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

  1. Pingback: Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia… — Retired? No one told me! | THE BIG BUCK HUNTER 2018

  2. Hugh's Views and News

    Such a lovely trip down memory lane, Carol. I can remember how thrilled we were in getting a tangerine and some nuts at the bottom of our Christmas stockings. Like dates, tangerines were only ever avaibale at Christmas time back then. Our Christmas stocking was usually one half of a pair of my mother’s tights!

    I also loved getting a selection box full of my favourite chocolate treats, much of which (to my mother’s dismay) was eaten before Christmas lunch. When I look back at Christmases past, Christmas in the 1970s were my favourites. For me, Christmas still holds its magic, but not as much as it did back then. I still get very excited about Christmas. 🎄

    Did you know that next Sunday (25th Nov) is Stir Sunday? It the Sunday before Advent Sunday and, for many, usually marks the beginning of the festive season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I know Hugh we used to get so excited and our stockings were my dad’s socks..I carried on that tradition with our kids and always do one for my grandchildren here although it gets more and more difficult to find things which are only available at Christmas so that side of it has almost disappeared which is a shame …The 70’s were my favourite as well as my first daughter was born in 71 although my childhood ones do have a special place in my heart. Yes, it is Chrismas Pudding making day but I had forgotten thank you for the reminder Hugh…As Christmas is not celebrated by Thais it is more low key for us now and when it is hot although I love Christmas it is not the same atmosphere it falls a bit flat…No British Pubs here to help when we lived in Phuket we used to have a proper Christmas always fully booked and we used to run Mr Bean and other old movies through the tv screens but not here it is rural Thailand and we don’t have a bar/restaurant anymore. Maybe next year I will get to go back for Christmas which will be lovely…Thank you for popping in, Hugh and the Stir -Up Sunday reminder, 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hugh's Views and News

        Yes, I agree, it’s a shame that items once only available at Christmas can now be purchased at any time of the year, Carol. It was one of the elements of ‘looking forward’ to Christmas back then. A little like buying a box of Christmas cards and having to match the right sized envelope with the right size card. I’d always end up with one or two cards that did not fit with the envelopes I had left. Now, all the cards and envelopes are the same size.
        Christmas may not be popular where you now live, but I’m sure you can still make it a special occasion (I’m sure you still will). With DVDs and streaming, I’m sure you can download a couple of great Christmas classics. My favourite Christmas movie is Holiday Inn. It’s the first Christmas movie I watch once Stir-up Sunday has arrived.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        HaHa I remember that there was always one which was too small or miles too big…lol…Yes of course I will , Hugh it still lacks that magic though … I love Home Alone or Miracle on 34th street …:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Weekly Roundup! Recipes and Rants…Christmas Trivia, Palm Oil and how to cook the perfect Turkey… | Retired? No one told me!

  4. noelleg44

    Such a fun post – and I had no idea about gingerbread. My grandmother always made it for us and I still have her recipe. Our Thanksgiving is the turkey so for Christmas we always have a standing rib.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Noelle…We love standing rib and had to have that last Christmas as we couldn’t get turkey here they are not easy to get here in the North which is why we decided we would breed our own which has been an experience …lol…So turkey it is this year…How lovely to have your Grandmothers recipe if you would like to share it I will add it to next weeks post and if you have a photo that would be awesome I will link back to you…Please let me know. Enjoy your thanksgiving meal…Lucky you getting two Christmas dinners 🙂 X


  5. Pingback: #Baking – a gingerbread house or six – Robbie's inspiration

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I have never had a Christmas sweater in my life, Jacquie and yes they are so ugly and cute…I am hoping some of my readers will send their pictures in it would be fun 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I know and it is such a shame, Robbie…That is some of the charm here for me as Christmas is low key Thais don’t celebrate Christmas they celebrate New Year but …But expectations are low with regards to presents as if they can’t eat it or use it then it is classed as frivolous and unnecessary so the stores are full of hampers(food) or gift sets of towels and household goods which are always well recieved … I much prefer it and Aston has adapted very well to that which is lovely as he thinks about people and is kind not materialistic which is lovely to see ….Enjoy your weekend 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. marianbeaman

    Your will have a home-raised turkey this year? Wonderful, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to slaughter it. You certainly won’t need to be concerned about GMO or antibiotic infused flesh with this pristine bird.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Carol!

    Liked by 1 person


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