Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas…Traditions, Treats…and Festive Fun!

Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

Welcome it’s time for Christmas Traditions and treats I would like to say a big thank you to all of you that have contributed to this series of posts you all rock so please keep those ideas and images coming.

Did you know??? Neither did I…

Hugh said:  Did you know that Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver? Yes, real silver. Can you imagine how much that would cost to buy? Thank goodness I don’t use the stuff to decorate my Christmas tree anymore. 🎄

tinsel christmas-3836868_640

He was absolutely correct…Tinsel, sometimes called icicles or lametta, was first used in the early 1600s in Germany. Back then, it was made of thin strips of real silver. These strips supposedly hung better on branches than modern tinsel and looked great reflecting the light of the candles that were fastened there. The problem with silver, though, was that it tarnishes quickly, so the tinsel’s sheen might not last until Christmas day.

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We now come to another version of Silent Night…Stille Nacht which is Darlene’s favourite and one of mine …Darlene is the author of the Amanda book series which would make a lovely stocking filler.

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Christmas Jumper Corner:

ugly-christmas-sweater-3774154_640

Come on…Someone must have a picture??? We had two cute dogs last week someone must have a funny/ugly Christmas jumper/socks/hats/pants?

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A Christmas tale …What fun they can be…We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddiwinks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars….

Icelandic parents enthral their children (and scare) them into being good with tales of the Ogress living in the Icelandic mountains.

She is one scary Mumma, described as half troll/animal and the mother of 13 naughty boys known as the  “Yule Lads”. Grýla lives in the mountains with her husband, her thirteen children and a black cat.

And that cat is pretty scary too….

Old Icelandic folklore states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. This obnoxious feline is known as the Christmas Cat.

cat-2540940_1920

The legend goes that every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who say sorry must be released.

Wow…that story will get the kiddies hiding under the bed covers.

The husband is not as wicked as her…  but a  bone-idle,  lazy slob.

The boys aka “The Yule” lads are naughty and mischievous and have wonderful names…Oh, what stories you could weave….and what fun you could inject into your stories.

the-icelandic-yule-lads

And what funny names they have.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.  and Door- Slammer well as the name implies….    Slams doors which are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake.

Icelandic children place a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes(Yuk), depending on how a  child has behaved on that day.

I think it’s much better than a boring advent calendar, just think of the tales you can weave and what fun you and the kids could have and such a cool way to keep the little darlings in check.

How about  Sausage -swiper he hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

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What tales do you tell your children?

I was really lucky…because my youngest believed in Santa Claus until she was about 13 years old…she was much ridiculed by her peers but stood her ground and insisted that she had seen Santa.

Well, she had….She was 3 yrs old and one of my son’s friends asked if he could ( while dressed) up as Santa take a little present upstairs and put it in Laurens stocking.

He was told by me in no uncertain terms ” Do NOT wake her up”

Well, she did wake up..but the clever boy put his fingers to his lips and told her to shhhhhh and go back to sleep or I can’t leave your Christmas presents.

Which she did, from that Christmas onwards for many years she was insistent to all and sundry when they laughed and told her Santa didn’t exist…..That she knew he did because she had seen him…so thank you, Adam, .for keeping a little girls dreams alive!

I wish I had known about the 13 trolls though….

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Did you know? Puritan Oliver Cromwell made Christmas illegal in England from 1647-1660, claiming it was immoral to hold a celebration on one of the year’s holiest days.

Did you know? It takes Christmas trees around 15 years to grow to 6-8 feet. There are approximately 30-35 million Christmas trees grown annually.

Did you know? Germans made the very first artificial Christmas trees, using dyed goose feathers to look like needles of a pine or fir-tree.

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This weeks Christmas food recipes… These recipes are tried and tested and it is the first time I have put together a menu and it is a vegetarian one as well and made it public I do hope you like it …For the recipes, which were first published on my Wednesday Cookery Column over at Smorgasbord Magazine.

Enjoy!

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I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas post of Traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us 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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

Christmas…Traditions,Treats…and Festive Fun!

Christmas Traditions treats and sweaters

This week I have lots of treats and traditions for you and a sprinkling of trivia…Where to start?

I have had a great response to my call out for  Christmas Jumpers OR is it Sweaters?… I think that is dependent on where in this big wide world you live… Do you call them Jumpers or Sweaters or more to the point what would you like me to call them?? Or shall we just beg to differ as we all know what I am talking about?

Christmas Jumper Corner:

You have probably noticed the two little dogs posing in their Christmas finery in the top image…Little Cubby belonged to Tori who writes some beautiful children’s books and Franck ( who never smiles) belongs to my son …Now Franck has a wardrobe many of us girls would envy a coat for every occasion and I haven’t seen him wear any with a smile…Yet!

 

Thank you to Franck, Cubby and Keto who make excellent models for showing us your Christmas finery …Applause xx

So come on let’s have your Christmas finery be it human or animal…xx

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Did you know? There are 12 courses in the traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper, each of them dedicated to one of Christ’s apostles.

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Silent Night: A beautiful Christmas Carol…

Darlene said…

I love Silent Night but prefer it in German. The original version Stille Nacht was written 200 years ago, in 1818 by Pastor Joseph Mohr in the small Austrian village of Oberndorf, the music composed by his friend Franz Gruber. This popular song is 200 years old this Christmas!!

Darlene is the author of The Amanda Books and she has also followed my blog from day one…Thank you Darlene xxx

Hugh said:

As for a favourite version of Silent Night, I rather like the haunting version Sinéad O’Connor did. Listening to her singing Silent Night…

Do you have a favourite version of Silent Night…?

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Christmas Cocktails…Silent Night!

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Kivak is also known as Mutak or Xmas Catap is an unusual Christmas treat but not if you have a delicate tummy or are fainthearted…Made from dead fermented birds, preserved in a hollowed out Seals body for a minimum of 3 months and often much longer. The taste like very mature cheese so I am told…

http://www.foodista.com/blog/2012/02/15/stinky-foods-10-weird-facts-about-kiviak

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Did you know the answer?…  Two of Santa’s reindeer are named after weather phenomenon. Name the reindeer.

Tidalscribe did…Donner and Blitzen – thunder and lightning in German?

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My blogging friend Tanya who has an absolutely delightful name for her blog one of my favourite flavours for ice cream Salted caramel said…

This post has reminded me of Agatha Christie’s book The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and Hercule Poirot s Christmas. Agatha Christie’s descriptions of food are as good as Enid Blyton’s whose books I adored as a child.

Books I haven’t read for many a year but they delighted me then and I think a lovely Christmas present for today’s child who loves books… some of the classics are timeless in their appeal don’t you think?

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Did you know? Most people think Japanese cuisine is relatively healthy and think seafood and rice. So it may come as a surprise to know that family Christmas tradition in Japan includes eating their big holiday meal at fast food giant KFC!

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 Round glass Christmas ornaments were inspired by the shape of apples. Apples were the original Christmas ornaments, put on the tree to symbolize the Garden of Eden.

christmas-bauble-15738_640

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I can’t think of anything that bacon doesn’t go with can you? One of our Christmas favourites and it has even tempted the man who hates dates but his love of cheese and bacon has overridden that and he had to admit that ” They are ok”..Really? How many have you eaten?

Although I did call them by their given name and didn’t just say dates wrapped in bacon and cheese…I like to vary the cheese… you can use cream cheese, cheddar or even a piece of blue cheese which is my favourite.

Devils on Horseback:

devils on horseback

  • 1 pack of pitted dates
  • 1/2 pack of regular (not thick cut) bacon, sliced into 1/4’s
  • 4 ounces of cheese…

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Let’s Cook!

Cut date halfway through and open them up.  Put a  teaspoon size piece of cheese inside. Wrap a 1/4 slice of bacon around the outside.

Secure each one with a toothpick or put five or six on a skewer. Place on a rack above a foil-lined pan to catch the drippings.

Bake for about 15 minutes, turn dates over and bake for another 10 minutes or so until bacon is crisp and dates are slightly caramelised.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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One of my favourite Christmas Traditions has to be the one that many people in Iceland uphold people will often exchange books on Christmas Eve, then spend the rest of the night reading them and eating chocolate…How good is that? x

The tradition is part of a season called Jolabokaflod, or “The Christmas Book Flood.” As a result, Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country selling most of them between September and November.

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christmas-baubles-1806968_1920

I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas post of Traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us 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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me A Link To Your Blog

Come on Guys and gals lets have one last push to help the lovely Hugh to reach his target for a very worthy cause….The bonus for you is you get to leave your link for your blog, promote your book so come on…Let’s Do It!

Hugh's Views & News

The Christmas tree is up, but something is missing. There are no gifts under it, and I need your help to put that right.

#charity #appeal #christmastree #christmas

For this year’s Christmas charity appeal, I’m asking you to help me raise up to £365 for The Dogs Trust.

The Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the well-being of dogs. Click here to go to their website.

Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to do.

  1. In the comments section of this post, leave the name of your blog and a link to it. This can be a link to your ‘about me’ page, a favourite blog post you’ve published, or the home page of your blog.
  2. If you’re an author, you’re also welcome to leave me a link to any books you have published. So, for…

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All I want for christmas is??????

Updated from last year but much of what I believe in is still the same…Merry Christmas x

Retired? No one told me!

sam_7845

Look at those happy smiles…Happy to have a tree to climb, a pond to fish in…and if they had a bike well…Instead they ride the tuk-tuk bike with my grandson riding the bike and all of them in the side car…would that allowed anywhere else???? probably not….we say don’t drive too fast…he comes back..hair standing on end so we know the foot was floored…ha ha…but it’s country roads/ tracks, not a lot of traffic..a few cows meandering along and they have fun….christmas to them is some small token…

SAM_7859

Christmas is not fully celebrated here unlike New Year. It is only the more westernised Thai’s and obviously those of us who live here from other parts of the world.

Christmas is much lower key and not commercialised like in western countries. The children if asked would think awhile and ask for one thing.

I asked a little lad the other week (…

View original post 603 more words

Blogmas 2016 …What are your favorite Christmas movies???

What are you all time favorite Christmas shows or Movies?????

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So many and as I am thinking about it I am changing my mind….

I mean Home Alone  has to feature in it somewhere doesn’t it? and  Mrs Browns Boys…he/she has me in fits…..I just love it!

Scrooge…A Christmas Carol.

scrooge

Mr Bean… stuffing the Christmas Turkey…well…I remember one year myself and some friends went to Denmark for the Christmas Markets. Well… The Danes are lovely people but quite reserved (in public).

The hotel we were staying in was playing Mr Bean on the tv screen in the hotel reception area and a group of people were watching it….Well…not even a titter…

street-art-1435078_1920

https://youtu.be/vAApUl58kzU

 

We just sat open mouthed and watched and for the whole show nothing…Nada… complete silence…The only noise breaking the silence was …us…..I will say no more …The waiter thought we were all very nice but loud….Can’t think why????

The Muppets A Christmas Carol…..so funny!

cartoon-145337_1280

https://youtu.be/dhpu2tq9GG4

Miracle on 34th Street….I used to love this film and could watch it over and over again which in fact we did because the BBC….Just love repeats!

christmas-santa

https://youtu.be/lo5OmGDjZEQ

 

Del Boy  now would it be christmas without him and those only Fools and Horses classics

The Grinch who stole Christmas…Loved it!

Don’t expose him to bright light.DON’T let him get wet. AND don’t EVER, EVER….

It’s none other than The Gremlins. Evil little so and so’s that we loved!

And Ladies….Bruce Willis…need I say more…who wouldn’t like a bit of Bruce Willis at Christmas?

bruce-willis

https://youtu.be/FDkk_Sf-OlI

 

And last of my favorites but definitely not least ….None other than The Vicar of Dibley and the lovely Dawn French.

So what’s YOUR favorite film of show?

 

 

 

 

Blogmas 2016…..Do you remember this?

Ahhhhhh memories ….What do you remember???

One of the comments on a recent post of mine was from Young Hugh of Hughs Views and News….you know who you are..lol ….of “Glimpses fame ” https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts/dp/153976379X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1480508390&sr=8-1&keywords=glimpses+hugh+w+roberts

who stated that rather than go back to the Victorian era for Christmas he would rather go back to the 70’s….. That set the grey matter into a mad frenzy of ideas…ha ha

A themed Christmas….well that would be good….just a thought!

Well I don’t have time to organise that… but….I have dug out some pictures and some old U-tube favorites from the 70’s.

So come with me and let’s go back in time….I am afraid that I don’t have one of these…

the-tardis

 

IMAGES: https://pixabay.com/en/tardis-dr-who-doctor-who-1816598/

Christmas adverts in the 70’s… I have had much fun looking them so here are some just for you..

What did we get in our stockings?…Well it was no fancy stocking then but dads socks… We got a satsuma stuffed in the toe, some sweets and a couple of small toys.I remember these tiny little dolls in like a matchbox. Jokes and marbles..lots of little bits that mums collected over the weeks and months before christmas.

Toys were not all fancy electronic devices and top of the range bikes..

rubix-cube

IMAGE: https://www.pexels.com/photo/colorful-color-play-concentration-54101/

.A rubix cube which kept everyone occupied for ever, Weebles those cute little things kept my kids occupied for hours. Then the start it all the Atari 2600 console came out…

The TV was on all day…Morecombe and Wise, Scrooge, Steptoe and Son and the Queens Speech…The whole world stopped for that….

Christmas number ones from The Jackson 5, Johnny Mathis,Slade, Mud and Queen and the Highlight of the Day…Christmas Lunch….The men went down the pub and promised fervently to back for 2pm. Where they….Heck no…so I suspect there was many a spoiled Xmas dinner or one ate in silence…ha ha

christmas DINNER.jpg

 

But the food…and a lot of  it still eaten now although changed slightly and updated but still loved…Prawn Cocktails, Pate, Turkey or a Capon,  Christmas Ham Roast and mashed potatoes , Sprouts and parsnips and sage and onion stuffing, Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies served with brandy butter or lashings of fresh cream.

 

Not forgetting the After Eight Mints and Gaelic Coffee.

And a few hours later it was tea time….  Turkey sandwiches, salmon sandwiches, Cheesy footballs and Cheeselets,Tunis Cake, Christmas cake , Yule Log or a Pavlova, Sausage rolls and hot mince Pies….. I think back and do not know how we consumed so much and that is without the snacks and fruit in between.

We sat there after pulling our cracker and putting on our hats…No mobile phone just talking and chatting around the table.

Family phone calls from afar…only once a year then…but cherished.

So much fun…Toys and games everywhere and then the grownups slept and the snores always made the kids laugh and mum tut- tutting….

But such fun times.

What memories do you have of your 70’s Christmas ???

 

The 13 Trolls of Christmas!

nicholas-1079183_1920

  What fun..We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddiwinks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars….

Icelandic parents enthral their children (and scare) them into being good with tales of the Ogress living in the Icelandic mountains.

She is one scary Mumma, described as half troll/animal and the mother of 13 naughty boys known as the  “Yule Lads”. Grýla lives in the mountains with her husband, her thirteen children and a black cat.

And that cat is pretty scary too….

Old Icelandic folklore states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. This obnoxious feline is known as the Christmas Cat.

cat-2540940_1920

The legend goes that every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who say sorry must be released.

Wow….that story will get the kiddies hiding under the bed covers.

The husband is not as wicked as her…  but a  bone-idle,  lazy slob.

The boys aka “The Yule” lads are naughty and mischievous and have wonderful names…Oh, what stories you could weave….and what fun you could inject into your stories.

the-icelandic-yule-lads

And what funny names they have.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.  and Door- Slammer well as the name implies….    Slams doors which are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake.

Icelandic children place a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes(Yuk), depending on how a  child has behaved on that day.

I think It’s much better than a boring advent calendar, just think of the tales you can weave and what fun you and the kids could have and such a cool way to keep the little darlings in check.

How about  Sausage -swiper he hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

What tales do you tell your children?

I was really lucky…because my youngest believed in Santa Claus until she was about 13 years old…she was much ridiculed by her peers but stood her ground and insisted that she had seen Santa.

Well, she had….She was 3 yrs old and one of my son’s friends asked if he could ( while dressed) up as Santa take a little present upstairs and put it in Laurens stocking.

He was told by me in no uncertain terms ” Do NOT wake her up”

Well, she did wake up..but the clever boy put his fingers to his lips and told her to shhhhhh and  go back to sleep or I can’t leave your presents.

Which she did, from that Christmas onwards for many years she was insistent to all and sundry when they laughed and told her Santa didn’t exist…..That she knew he did because she had seen him…so thank you Adam.for keeping a little girls dreams alive!

I wish I had known about the 13 trolls though….