Best viewed in
Traditional Christmas Yule
Although Christmas and its customs were in disfavor for only a short
time in England (during the reign of Cromwell), Scotland ignored the
holiday far longer. Bear in mind that "Christmas" is "Christ's Mass" and
mass was banned in Scotland. There are records of charges being brought
against people for keeping "Yule" as it was called in Scotland.
Amazingly, this dour, joy-crushing attitude lasted for 400 years. It has
only been in recent years that the Scots observed December 25 as a
special day at all. So if there is a specifically "Scottish" aspect to
Christmas it is that it was not celebrated!
Christmas in Scotland is now a time for going to church, food, presents,
parties, holidays and all sorts of other good things. It's a time for
celebration because it's the birthday of Jesus.
Planning for Christmas starts weeks before the events. Children are busy
writing their Christmas lists for Santa Claus, parents are busy buying
presents, cleaning the house and organizing food for the great day.
Houses are decorated with tinsel, holly wreaths candles and decorations.
Mistletoe is hung to catch a kiss from anyone who stands under it. The
Christmas tree, decorated with baubles, takes pride of place in any
On Christmas Eve, children prepare for Santa Claus by hanging up their
stockings in anticipation of their being filled with presents while they
sleep. They leave out a small glass of whisky or milk for Santa along
with a mince pie. They also leave out carrots for the reindeer -
particularly Rudolph - the red nosed reindeer that guides his sleigh
through the dark skies. Then the children are ready to go to bed. In all
the excitement children find it difficult to get to sleep. Some waken up
VERY early in the morning.
Christmas day finally arrives and is marked by screams of delight at the
surprises Santa has left. Once the presents are opened, many people get
ready to go to church. Christmas carols are sung during the hour long
On return, parents prepare the Christmas lunch while children play with
their toys. Christmas dinner is a time when families get together -
grannies, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins. Once it is finished and the
clearing up done, there is generally a party. People sing songs, dance
or play games. All the preparation has been worth it. People go to bed
happy yet exhausted. Christmas is over for another year!
traditional Christmas lunch will include - Starter: Scotch Broth or
Smoked Salmon. Main course - Roast Turkey, Sage & Onion Stuffing,
Chippolata Sausages, Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts. Dessert -
Christmas Pudding and Brandy custard.
traditional children’s Yule song:
gaun to hing a stockin up,
I'll borrow my big brither's,
It's bigger nor my sister's ane
And strang-er nor my mither's.
I'll be in bed on Yule E'en
When Faither Christmas comes.
I ken he'll wale oor chimley oot
Amang the ither lums.
On Yule richt early I'll be up
Afore the screich o day
To see what ferlies Santa Claus
Has brocht me for my play.
I hope he'll mind a cuddly bear,
And cups for dolly's tea
Wi lots o ither bonnie toys
For a guid wee lass like me.