One of the things I love so much about Christmas time is the different traditions and routines that families hold. Some people open their presents on the 24th, some open them on the 25th; heck some open them as soon as the get them. Some people like to eat turkey, some like to eat fish – some go out for dinner! Tradition is such a wonderful thing and it unites us and reminds us what family and friends are about. Here are four of my personal traditions.
My Freaking Awesome Traditions
Going Out Partying on Christmas Eve
I realise that this heading might make some people think eh.. WTF?! But it is true 😀 ! Since the age of about 16, I have been going out for a social night out with my friends and welcomed in Christmas from the dance floor of a nightclub! This year it might even be Gangnam Style! (jokes) No,I am not an alcoholic, but instead all my friends from back home and school get together and reunite. My family normally go to bed early anyway, so it is not like I am missing out.
Christmas Day Swim in a Loch
I realise we are starting to see a crazy-like trend here, but I assure you I’m not! For the last few years, we have welcomed in Christmas day by running into a Loch (the Scottish word for a lake), submerging ourselves underwater and running out! It is at times like these I wish that I was not blogging anonymously… I have an amazing video which documents the evidence. (Message me if you really want to see)!
Poker Night with Friends From School
This tradition has been going for a LOOONG time! In fact, this year probably marks a decade of our annual poker night meeting! Essentially, a group of around 20 of us from school meet, drink, drink more, eat the hottest curry we can, drink some more and play poker! Our game is well known to go on into the very early hours of the morning; the record being 9.30 am. I am pleased to announce that I have won twice, finished joint top once (we split the pot) and second twice as well. We all end up ‘buying-in’ for about £10 each (if there is no monetary prize, there is little point playing… right?) and the winner comes away with a pretty decent pot! Win or Lose, it is an amazing way to catch up and ‘take-off from where we left-off’.
Bothying on the Eve of Christmas Eve
I can’t claim to do this every year; in fact, it has been a number of years since I did this. For those of you who don’t know what ‘bothying’ is – Scotland has a number of cottages that are situated in isolated locations. So isolated in fact, that you really have to know where they are to find them! An organisation is responsible for the upkeep of these cottages and permit you to stay in them free of charge. There is no electricity, no toilets and no running water – although they are usually situated next to a stream! There is no way to book them, so you have no guarantee if you will have the place to yourself or will be sharing it with 10 others!
I have visited bothys a number of times and you can actually meet some great and entertaining people! A 5 mile + walk is usually required to get there, so you can almost instantly disregard a lot of potential visitors. Generally, on December 23rd they are usually pretty empty! In the past, we have walked in with head torches in the pitch black, arrived to make a fire, share wine and tell ghost stories. Even as I write this, I recall how much fun these adventures were and the truly happy memories associated with the event. Perhaps this would be the perfect year to return and introduce bothying to Mrs Scot.
How do you like some of my photos from Christmas Walks in 2010?