Family and fun in Scotland

A Scottish Christmas involves big family, dancing and lots of whiskey.

A Scottish Christmas involves big family, dancing and lots of whiskey.

Jennifer Tod is currently staying in Rossland, but hails from Edinburgh, and says the holiday season whisky drinking starts the night before Christmas, down at the pub.

“Christmas Eve is really big,” she shared. “Everyone comes home for Christmas and it is the one night a year that everyone gets together. Everyone goes to the pub…until maybe 5 or 6 a.m.”

Christmas Eve is also when the cooking starts for a Scottish Christmas dinner. Tod’s family had the familiar trimmings on the table – turkey, potatoes and stuffing – and a couple other dishes that are uniquely Scottish.

“You always have to have a trifle (for dessert),” she said. “We always have baby sausages wrapped in bacon, and you have to have sausage meat stuffed in your turkey. Of course, lots of whisky. There was always lots of whisky.”

Christmas day was hectic and busy for Tod and her family, with a house full of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and more.

“When I was a kid, there would be at least 25 of us,” she said. “Everyone would come over and the mums would be in the kitchen cooking and getting drunk and then the kids would just run around.”

After dinner, someone would get out a fiddle and the family would start a ceilidh, a Gaelic dance party.

“Everyone is Scotland learns these dances in school from age 4 and up,” she said. “So everyone just knows the dances, so you get a bit drunk and every just starts dancing.”

While everyone is inside eating and dancing, outside, Edinburgh would be blanketed in snow more often than not and locals would put their money on it.

“The bookies would take bets to see if we were going to have a while Christmas or not,” she said. “You could gamble on it.”

After Christmas is over, the celebrating doesn’t stop. In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is celebrated as Hogmanay and has a ceremony called first footing.

“You have to go to your neighbours door and present them with a gift, whether it is some whisky or a piece of food,” said Tod, laughing. “Then you keep going along (the road) until you get a big party, and then usually you bring instruments with you, so it turns into a big party.”

Tod has had Christmas celebrations in Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, but this year, she will be spending the holiday season in Rossland.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union president Andy Davidoff. Photo: Jennifer Small
An open letter to Premier Horgan and Minister Whiteside: Let’s stop harming our children during a pandemic

A letter from Andrew Davidoff, President Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

The Coldest Night of the Year event will raise money for the local Getting to Home program. Walk virtually or in-person on Feb. 20 – there’s a place for everyone! Photo: Trail Times
Be part of Coldest Night of the Year; be part of a solution for Trail

Proceeds from the Feb. 20 fundraiser will be directed into Getting to Home

KBFR
Driver taken to hospital after hitting ditch near Genelle

Kootenay Boundary first responders attend single vehicle accident, RCMP investigate

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Most Read