Celtic Christmas in Scotland and the Ozarks

Christmas in Scotland is not that different from what we celebrate here in the United States, especially for those of us that keep some Celtic Traditions as part of the day. So, I thought I would share a bit about what live is like on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Scotland. I also will share a bit about our Christmas day in the States.

The Scottish people love to decorate their homes, just like we do here in the Celtic Ozark Christmas Tradition. Our local town of Fair Grove, MO has lots of people who outrageously decorate their homes. This also happens in modern day Scotland. Many Scottish folks, though, still keep a simple tree, real or articificial, strung with bits of tinsel. My favorite picture of recent days from Glasgow depicted a home with articifial snow rolling down the roof. As of the writing of this article, though, that problem may be solved. Lot’s of winter weather was headed to the isles. I will say, though, that the amount of snow received in Scotland is decreasing. Children can join thie festivities by using advent calendars that end on Christmas eve. My familyl uses just such an Advent Calendar, that has little ornaments you hang each day, getting them from a small door.

Christmas Eve is always an exciting time, both in Scotland and the Ozarks. Some folks put out big presents to find the next morning. There is also a stocking to use for small treats and presents brought by Santa Claus. Some Celtic families use pillow cases instead of stockings. Food is typical for Christmas Eve. Our family still enjoys the stocking that is placed out on Christmas Eve night, ready for the grandchildren to find Christmas morning. It is a big affair that I am proud to say has been carried on by adult kids. At our house, we typically do a Christmas Eve dinner though, that features Cornish Hens, Cheese Grits, and Scottish Short Bread. Yum.

On Christmas Day, families gather to open presents and have Christmas lunch. Presents get unwrapped in such a way as to save wrapping. This is one we still do. We start the morning opening our stockings, and have a breakfast that features Scottish Eggs. Older men in Scotland often get ties, socks, and the like for presents. Does this sound familiar? Lunch in Scotland on Christmas Day often looks like lunch in the Ozarks: turkey with all the trimmings, a little wine, or maybe champaign. Pudding is usually a Christmas Cake or a Yule Log, which came to Scotland from Sweden. Some people have Christmas crackers and wear paper crowns designed to honor the baby Jesus. Then, everyone watches some televisioni, and takes a nap.

Television shows on Christmas Day in Scotland typically include “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Sound of Music,” or “The Queen’s Speech” (always at 3pm). In our neck of the woods, we watch “The Christmas Story,” “Miracle on 34th Street, or “It’s A Wonderful Life.” These traditions are very similar.

At tea time, many families like to have a light supper. One example of such a supper is bread and butter and smoked salmon, and more crackers if there are any left. For our home, it usually means eating leftovers from Christmas dinner. Many times, we have a baked ham that gets eaten with leftover rolls.

As you can see, the traditions are very similar. Slainte and Merry Christmas from the Celtic Ozarkisn.

Ray Province

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