Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Good afternoon…A lovely afternoon here though the morning was a tad chilly…Picked up some lovely fennel and some beautiful eggplants from the Kings Project Farmers market also some beautiful peppercorns and some other fresh vegetables…Next Friday will be the start of my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

Today I am reposting a post from last November which I hope you enjoy…x

Christmas stockings gingerbread houses

Welcome to my Christmas edition of goodies…Lots for everyone… 


There are many Christmas traditions practiced 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 28th 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 coalman 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?… Not my taste but then I am not everyone…


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 anymore to spend hours… Icing cakes…it’s too hot here…

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 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!

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

34 thoughts on “Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Health, Recipes, and plenty of Christmas cheer! …Week ending 17th Nov 2019… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. purpleslob

    I didn’t know the origins of gingerbread. Thanks! I let the grandbabies make gb houses, but I always wait till the kits go on clearance after Christmas! One year, I let my KG students make them from graham crackers, glued onto milk cartons, so they didn’t fall down! Those were fast and easy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz Gauffreau

    I enjoyed this! What I find ironic is how much discussion there was when I was growing up in the 1960s about how horribly commercialized Christmas had become. Little did we know! Leave it to Texas to build a McMansion of a gingerbread house!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. petespringerauthor

    Good stuff, Carol. I’d like to see that enormous gingerbread house, and after reading about all of the ingredients, the process of how it went down.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. koolkosherkitchen

    I was always wondering how the fat guy got back up the chimney – now I know! Russian Grandpa Frost uses doors, like everybody else. Have a lovely weekend, dear Carol!


  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday November 15th 2019 -#Xmas Carol Taylor #Maths Jennie Fitzkee – #Interview Colleen M. Chesebro with Darlene Foster | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  7. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Great Carol…and those jumpers are for “inside wear with family who know you are crackers” only! I am not a baker either except for bread… and I do admire people who can create these spectacular creations.. a fun and informative post thank you and will put in the blogger daily later today.. and thanks too for the turkey mention…and home-grown is something only a handful of people will be doing this Christmas and you can truly say yours is organic and enjoyed excellent welfare, not something we can all say.. hugs ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Sally I would agree with that about the jumpers…I know I can and that to me is a shame I wish it was different and more people had access to healthier food wit no chemicals but I do see a change ..Aldi have made a stand I saw in the news today,…Enjoy your weekend, Sally and thank you in advance of the mention in your blogger daily …Hugs xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. leggypeggy

    Fascinating about the largest gingerbread house. A friend’s son does magnificent gingerbread creations every year. Look online for the clip of a turkey stopping traffic while its companions cross the road. Very funny. I think it was in New England.

    Liked by 1 person

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