An Auld Scottish Christmas
What Makes a Traditional Scottish Christmas?
With all the crowds of people darting round the shops hunting for the perfect gift and the twinkling lights, garish Christmas jumpers, and Christmas soundtracks truly indicating the festive period has begun, it’s difficult to imagine, and for some an unknown fact, that Christmas Day wasn’t a public holiday in Scotland until the late 1950s. However, some of the traditions which originated in Scotland hundreds of years ago still remain a Christmas staple in many households – here are some of the festive few that have stood the test of time:
Treats for Santa
Leaving out some Christmas Eve sustenance to get Santa through his tiring night of present delivering is now a widespread tradition, but obviously what each family decides to leave/has in their cupboard at the time varies – although most good Scots have a supply of milk and oatcakes, or at least chocolate cookies tucked away somewhere. Laying out a nice, smoky single malt with a mince pie and a piece of buttery shortbread is always an enticing combination – and not forgetting the obligatory Rudolf carrot for the star reindeer, of course.
A Whisky Pudding
Unsurprisingly, a number of specifically Scottish festive traditions revolve around one of Christmas Day’s most sacred activities – eating. Adding whisky to any recipe makes it veritably Scottish, and also spices up the classic Christmas fruit pudding – the Walkers Glenfiddich Whisky Cake blends a tasty fruit mixture with quality Glenfiddich single malt. If you prefer the festive taste of whisky to come in smaller, pastry-encased packages, Walkers’ Whisky Mincemeat Tarts are a delicious bundle of candied citrus, apple, and sultana flavours with a sweet Glenfiddich 12-year-old finish.
The concept of the Christmas greetings card was apparently championed in Edinburgh by Leith printer and publisher, Charles Drummond, in 1841. Displaying the message ‘A Gude New Year/And Mony o’ Them’, the cards were sent off at Christmas time but looked ahead to the New Year, like many of the now endless modern-day card choices. Cards specifically aimed at a ‘Merry Christmas’ were invented by Englishman Sir Henry Cole a couple of years later, but the Scots did create the adhesive stamp – an invention by Dundonian, James Chalmers, so really, the world has us to thank for all those colourful cards spreading joy round the world in December.