Joys of the Season
I am a history buff. I’m lucky enough to have a pioneer village just a few miles from me. For two weekend in December they celebrate Christmas in the Village. At each of the buildings, they have a different traditional Christmas celebration for the 1850 – 1880’s.
At one house, they have a traditional German Christmas Eve. They depict Christmas eve with a fir tree, called Tannenbaum which is usually put up and decorated with real candles, glass balls or straw ornaments and sweets. A star or an angel tops the tree and beneath the tree, a nativity scene might be set up and the homemade presents next to it.
The aroma of baking fills the house, including gingerbread hearts, sugar-roasted almonds, cookies, and stollen.
At the English house, they depict Christmas day, with the homemade presents under the Christmas tree. There are no candles on this tree. On the table were dishes of Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, mulled wine and mincemeat pies.
They also did a demonstration of how to make your own Christmas crackers, which are paper rolled into tubes with small toys or puzzles in them. To start the meal, you would break these open.
At the Scottish house, they depicted New Years, or Hogmanay. The tradition is you return everything you have borrowed, you sweep the bad luck out the door just before midnight, then form a circle and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
To ensure good luck for the house, the ‘first foot’ over the door should be male, dark haired and should bring gifts such coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and whisky.
They served shortbread cookies and mead, or mulled wine.
I love celebrating Christmas with such wonderful traditions and we go as a family every year.
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My story Timeless Passion is based on the Hogmanay celebration at the Scottish house.
Blacksmith Dougal MacBride walks into his home after a long day and finds strangers celebrating Hogmanay when it’s just days before Christmas. Confused beyond belief and incredibly aroused by the curvaceous bundle in front of his hearth, he is torn between the need to return to his time or remain in the present with the woman who may be his soul mate.
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