Wednesday 16 December 2009

An Old Fashioned Christmas . . .

An Old Fashioned Christmas

Let's have an old fashioned Christmas,
What a day of delight it will be.
We'll hang up the wreath made of cedar,
And we'll bring home a fresh spruce tree.
Candlelight shines by each window;
Springs of holly grace mantle and door;
The sweet smell of gingerbread cookies
Joins puddings and pies by the score.
The sleds deftly skim frozen hilltops;
Velvet snowflakes in radiance beam;
And ice skaters glide like quicksilver
In winter moonlight's golden gleam.
Make it an old fashioned Christmas,
May each waiting heart feel the glow
That grows with the ringing of sleigh bells
Drifting over the soft silvered snow.
~Elizabeth Weaver Winstead

Ahhh . . . wouldn't it be lovely . . . a good old fashioned Christmas with none of the hustle and bustle and commercialism of today's Christmas's??? The only treats, ones that you baked yourself and perhaps a candy cane or two on the tree. A good old toffee pull on Christmas Eve . . . the molasses toffee kind. Neighbours and friends dropping by to give you their Christmas greetings in person and sharing a mug of hot chocolate, or something stronger if you are that way inclined, to help to ease the chill from their bones.

Carolers slowly moving from house to house, serenading each occupant with their lovely dulcet tones of Christmas Cheer. A lovely fresh pine tree, decorated with paper decorations that the children have made, and paper chains, popcorn and cranberry garlands and silver foil icicles hanging from the branches.

The family all together under one roof, and going en masse to Christmas Eve services at the local village church, and knowing that when you went there, all your neighbours and friends would be there too, all together and giving thanks for the gift of the Christ Child.

Waking up on Christmas morning to the smell of turkey already wafting through the house, and knowing that mom or grandma are already up and getting started on the big dinner preparations.

Finding a stocking filled and bulging at the end of your bed, and knowing that a bit juicy tangerine is going to be stuffed into the toe, along with a few nuts to crack and some hard Christmas Candy to suck on throughout the day.

Being excited because you know that, later on in the morning, your cousins will be arriving, and you will be able to share this special feeling with those you hold nearest and dearest, and you'll all be able to laugh together at the antics of Uncle Ralph, and giggle at Grandpa falling asleep in his chair with his mouth wide open and his false teeth hanging precariously in the balance . . . will they or won't they fall out completely??? The grownups sitting around chatting happily, sharing stories of days gone by and family tales of those who are no longer with us, whilst the children happily occupy themselves with play and time spent with cousins that they may see every day anyways, but on this day . . . there is a special feeling of togetherness that is not there any other day of the year, and so . . . it's even better.

Eating turkey and stuffing and roast potatoes, until you just can't eat another bite . . . and then stuffing your face with Christmas pudding and mince tarts . . . and oh sure . . . just a few more nuts and some of that buttery tofee that you had so much fun pulling the night before.

Rolling in to bed at the end of the day, stuffed not only with good food, but with wonderful feelings and happy memories, filled with joy because you have just spent the most special day ever . . . with the people you love most, and knowing that you wouldn't have it any other way.

Feeling an inner peace and gratefulness to your Heavenly Father for all the goodness he has sent your way, and for The gift of the Christ Child, peace on earth and good will towards men . . .

May we, each one of us, have an old fashioned Christmas in our hearts this year, and may we each feel some of the peace that comes from loving . . . and being loved.

My kids would not have been happy unless I had filled a big cookie jar with some of these lovely ginger cutouts each year. Spicy and sweet and decorated with sprinkles and candies and all glittery, they were always a huge part of our Christmas Celebrations.

*Old Fashioned Ginger Cutouts*
Makes quite a few, numbers are variable depending on the size and shape of cutters that you use
Printable Recipe

These delicious crisp and spicy ginger cookies are a wonderful addition to any holiday tray. Decorate them in any way you like, with coloured icings and sprinkles, candies, currants . . . let your imagination go wild!!

8 TBS softened butter
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

For the Glaze:
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 TBS milk or water

To finish:
a variety of sprinkles, candy and edible glitter to decorate

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and then beat in the molasses and the egg.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add to the creamed mixture and mix until well blended. Gather into a plastic bag and then refrigerate for one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/350*F. Dust the counter with some flour and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into either 3 inch squares or use your choice of cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place on baking sheets and bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add enough of the milk or water to make a smooth glaze. You may not need all of the water, as you only want the icing thin enough to run freely, but stiff enough to lay on the cookie without running off. Dip each cookie into the glaze and then hold it over the bowl for a few seconds to let any excess drip off. Lay on a wire rack and immediately sprinkle with whatever candies, etc. you wish to decorate with. Allow to dry and harden before removing to store in an airtight container.

Over on The English Kitchen today, a delicious Honey Banana Loaf.


  1. Good Morning Marie the Christmas you describe sounds delightful. Have av ery good day.

  2. I loved reading this post, Marie--made me very happy and nostalgic! We're doing Christmas a bit simpler this year, and I'm so glad! Less gifts, just because it has to be that way, and no one is sad about it! Kind of tells me we do too much, usually!

    Love this recipe! I'm going to be so fat after the holidays, and I do believe it will be all your fault, Marie! (I'm just kidding--I DO have SOME willpower!) We're loving the addition of so many of your recipes into our home--much love to you, as always!

  3. Yummy recipes...and talk of an old fashioned my liking indeed! As kids we used to race to dad's sock drawer to see who could find the longest sock, then we'd pin it onto the back of the couch. Next morning..yes, an orange in the toe and full of nuts, hard curly candy and mom's fudge! Loved those Christmas's...always best through the eyes of a child! Come say hi :D

  4. Hello, I love all the retro Christmas pictures on your post. They take me back to another time. Things were so different when I was girl....however, every Christmas has been special for me...even the one year when we had no money at all...however, I miss some of the old traditions I had.

    You know that I am the gingerbread Grammy so I will have to try these ginger cookies. We all loved your sticky gingerbread that we made for New Years last year.

    I am glad that you got my little box of gifts. They are not much but they were sent with love. I think it is so funny that we both made the same little circle ornament this year. lol

    I enjoyed talking to you today.

    Have a good day.... I must get to bed. I send love, Lura

  5. Christmas is a whirlwind and we've made it that way -- but . . if you slow down, you can make the Advent Season an old fashioned time. Forego some of the modern trappings of Christmas and center on home and family.

    I make a similar cookie but have never iced them -- perhaps this year I will -- love your red and green sprinkles on the tree ones!

    Thanks for the Christmas post!

  6. That Christmas sounds so wonderful and brings back many happy childhood memories. But I think of the toll it takes on the mothers and wonder if it's really worth it?
    Hugs, Rhondi

  7. Roaring fires,laden tables, Dickensian costume - lovely! What a lovely Christmas to aspire to. I suppose an 'old fashioned Christmas' would be different things to different people - whatever sticks in their memories from childhood.

    As a child in the 50's and 60's I used to read a lot - as you did too - so my memories are founded on what I WISHED as well as what was real at the time and what I wished was.....all of the above! And a bike I didn't have to share with the other two.

    love, Angie, xx

  8. OH Marie this post brought a tear to my eye.Nothing would make me happier than to be able to turn back the clock to The Good Old Fashioned Christmas.I am so sentimental,it has realy touched my soft spot.I was always happy with whatever was in my stocking and I have always been that way.I much rather give than recieve and Christmas is a sad time for me,but I try to be joyful as Ma says in her blog "Whats New At My House".I love your gingerbread cookies.Take Care God Bless Marie Kath xx

  9. Oh, this post drips deliciously of Christmas, Marie... oh, sooo good! And so good was getting to chat with you last night. Thank you so much for ringing. It was great to catch up a bit before we leave for our Christmas trip. My turn to ring you next time. :o) I'll drop you a line before we go... These gingerbreads would go down a treat with a cuppa today--it's been snowing! :o) LOVE YOU HEAPS, dear friend ((BIG HUGS))

  10. Marie:

    This post brings to mind the pilot episode of "Little House on the Prarie". Mary and Laura were ecstatic over a penny, a tin cup and a candy cane. Mr. Edwards brought sweet potatos for Ma and all was right with the world!

    Gerushia's New World

  11. I love the idea of the old fashioned simple Christmas. I am guilty of making it way too complicated and have vowed that I will simplify next year (just like I did this year, but didn't stick to it). Have a wonderful stress-free Christmas!


  13. I'd love one Christmas to only give and get gifts we've made ourselves to take out some of the commercialism. My children would be horrified. :) I'm sure it would take a lot of dreaming on their parts to think of something to make! blessings, marlene

  14. your description of an old-fashioned christmas was so beautiful. i felt like i was there. things were much simpler back then. i tried to get my kids a little less this year(but its so fun to buy for your little ones that its hard to hold back sometimes:) but they definitely have less toys to open and more useful things this year. its not about the money and gifts, its about warm family memories and of course, our Savior. thanks for sharing such a beautiful scene!

  15. Thank you for leaving comments on my blog! I am so bad about commenting myself, it's something I intend to rectify. Love the photos and also the quotes, I must get round to reading your back postings too.

  16. Marie, I don't know why an old comment was posted, that wasn't what I'd just written! This is what I's said:
    I just LOVED this post, took me right back to being a child again! I try to make memories for my grandchildren and on Monday Isabella, Sofia and 12 year old Joe (who loves to help me cook!) will be spending the day with me and we'll be making gingerbread cookies and also pomanders out of oranges, cloves and some red ribbon, they can take them home afterwards...I can't wait! Thank you for our Christmas card too! ~~~ love to you, Todd and Jess, Pat xx


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