Christmas Crackers

Christmas Crackers A popular Christmas tradition in the UK.  Two people pull on each end of the cracker.  When it breaks apart, there is a pop.  The one who wins the cracker gets the prize, hat, and joke inside.  The crackers are usually opened at the Christmas dinner table.  The jokes read aloud and the crowns worn during dinner. The … Continue reading

Boxing Day and Mince Pies

Boxing Day The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, a national holiday.  It is spent with family and friends, eating up leftovers, and maybe watching sports on t.v.  It also works nicely when you have two sets of Grandparents.  You can spend Christmas with one family and Boxing Day with the other. Boxing Day History: There are several ideas about … Continue reading

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding   In England, one of the traditional Christmas desserts is Christmas Pudding (Plum pudding).  It has a long history dating back to the 14th century, when it was called ‘Frumenty.’  At that time it was made with beef, mutton, raisins, pruns, spices, and wine.  It has slowly changed over the years to become what it is now. Christmas … Continue reading

Father Christmas sails into Snape Maltings UK

Father Christmas sails into Snape Maltings UK The historic Thames sailing barge smoothly brought Father Christmas into the Quay at Snape Maltings. He arrived to excited families waving as a local band played Christmas music to the crowd.  After Santa disembarked, he walked to his grotto to meet the children. It was like a little parade as we all qued … Continue reading

Woodbridge UK Christmas Market

Woodbridge UK Christmas Market I am a big sucker for Farmer’s markets, outdoor markets, flower markets, and especially Christmas markets.  Steaming hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, pastries, mulled wine, oh yeah!  Bring it on!  😉 We are situated between several small villages, and many of them have a local Christmas themed market each weekend.  This one was located just a few … Continue reading

Three King’s Day, Spain

January 6 is Dia de Los Reyes Magos in Spain.  There is often a parade with the Three Kings, Melchior Caspar and Balthazar,  throwing sweets to the children.  Then that night you leave out your shoes along with some food for the camels.  We put a dish with carrots out on our terrace along with our shoes to be filled by … Continue reading

Feliz Año Nuevo! Happy New Year!

New traditions, new experiences, and a new year!  The whole family went to the center of town at the church plaza to ring in the new year with the rest of the village.  We brought our grapes and dancing shoes!    There was a band playing in the far corner and the plaza was packed with people from the very … Continue reading

Nochevieja: New Years Eve

There are several interesting New Years Eve customs in Spain.  I have already told you about the red underwear for good luck. Now I am going to tell you about the “Las doce uvas de la suerte,” the twelve grapes of luck.  This is one of the few traditions that does not have religious origins.  It is customary to eat one … Continue reading

Turrón

Turrón is a traditional Christmas treat in Spain.  It dates back about 500 years ago, when they first have written record of a recipe for turrón in a “handbook for women.”  Their are several different varieties.  Some are hard like brittle.  Others are soft like fudge.  It is basically a type of honey almond nougat.  We bought two varieties to … Continue reading

Christmas in Spain

  We have noticed that Christmas in Spain is not nearly as commercial as it is in the US.  The focus is more religious and family oriented.  Of course we are in a smaller village, so things might be different in the bigger cities.  The nativity scene is the primary decoration that everyone has.   December 22 is a big … Continue reading