November News



Well, it’s not snowing here yet but the trees are definitely losing their color and there are pools of oranges and reds on the sidewalks.  Autumn this year was fabulous!

I confess Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  I have been listening to Christmas music, not so much “Santa  Claus is coming to town” but more “Ave Maria”.  I am not sure why I stumble over November each year but as I was reading my journal last night, I realized that Novembers are usually hard for me.  The Christmas music helps me take everything down a notch and when I’m driving in traffic, belting out “O Holy Night”, it really does decrease the stress level, at least for me, I don’t know about the guy next to me although he probably is entertained.

Through my Reader which holds updates from my favorited blogs, I have enjoyed catching up with my fellow bloggers tonight and I am sorry I didn’t have time to have a leisurely stop and comment on each one.  Because I have been preoccupied with other things, I did have quite a number of posts to read and now it feels good to be caught up on everyone’s news.

I have also just added a number of new tweets.  I am hoping to keep adding new fairs and events over the Christmas season.  If you search under “Christmas”on my blog, there are a number of shopping opportunities I have written about over the years and I think most of them recur yearly so just have a peek at the websites and hopefully you’ll be able to attend them this year.

Thanks to those of you who dropped by while I was taking a bit of a break, not intentionally but it just happened that time got away on me and before you know it, it’s the middle of November.

Wishing you a joyous season of reflecting on the goodness of life and hopefully spending time with family and friends.  ~Alison



Christmas at Castle Fraser

courtesy of NTS


Exclusively Highlands is having a craft fair at Castle Fraser this coming weekend. Jewellery, bags, feltwork, glass art, sculpture, artisan wood, pottery and original paintings. As well, you can find hand-reared meats, sumptuous baking and jams, jellies and preserves.

  • 24 Nov 2012 : 10:00 – 16:30
  • 25 Nov 2012 : 10:00 – 16:30



Also the Aberdeen Orpheus Choir is giving two performances in December.

02 Dec 2012 : 14:00 – 16:00 and 07 Dec 2012 : 19:30 – 21:30

Tickets are:

    • Adult : £ 10.00
    • Child : £ 7.00
    • Concession : £ 7.00
courtesy of NTS


And finally, something for the kid in all of us, a “Christmas Crackers” day on December 9th.

“Our children’s quiz will allow you to explore the festive castle. You can listen to the storyteller in the Library, have your face painted in the Great Hall, or have fun doing festive crafts in the Dining Room!

Visit Santa in his grotto!

Join the Rhynie Wifies in the Great Hall and make you own Christmas wreath and festive decorations using natural winter foliage.

The Granite City Brass band will be playing festive music in the courtyard from 1.00pm until 3.00pm.

Admission charges apply – including NTS members. Family Ticket: 2 Adults & 2 children; Children under 5 go free!”

Dates & Times:

  • 09 Dec 2012 : 12:00 – 16:00


  • Adult : £ 5.00
  • Child : £ 3.00
  • Family : £ 15.00
  • Concession : £ 3.00

More information can be found on the NTS/Castle Fraser website.



Just a little personal note here:  I am a bit overwhelmed with the amount of truly wonderful Christmas events happening in Scotland.  As December approaches, I am becoming even more aware of all the lovely fairs and shopping to be had. Well, all this to say that my head is buzzing with all the posts I could write … alas, if I had time.  So, my quandry is whether to fire short blog posts off to let you know of events or whether to write at a more inconsistent pace and write a bit longer piece.  I think that until I get this figured out, please bear with me if it is a while between posts and if you are a tweeter, I will be updating my twitter feed on a regular basis so please have a look on there if you’re looking for something Christmassy to do on a weekend.  Thanks for your patience. 🙂

oh mercy me, I almost forgot.  The Country Living Christmas Fair is starting today until the 25th at the SECC in Glasgow.  Hundreds of exhibitors from all over the UK come together for this giant fair.  It’s amazing.  I did a short blog post with some wonderful pictures of some of the exhibits last year.

and last but not least, there is a great list of upcoming fairs and decorating classes on the Craft Scotland website.  Whew! I think that’s all for now.  I’ll speak to you again soon. 🙂


Irn-Bru Snowman

Life has been a little hectic these past few weeks but I am finally on holidays and things are starting to mellow out a little.  I’m sorry I haven’t written much this week.  I’m hoping to remedy that in the next couple of days but until then, please humor me by letting me share my favorite Christmas advert.


Edinburgh Santa Run

from Edinburgh Spotlight ….

“Nearly 1500 Santas of all ages gathered in Princes St Gardens yesterday to raise money for children’s charity When You Wish Upon a Star – and have a great time into the bargain! (this charity helps to make dreams come true for kids with life threatening illnesses).

The weather was kind as Santas of all ages assembled at the Ross Bandstand, where UK Zumba expert Donna Giffen led a sea of red and white through a limb-loosening warmup.

The race was then on as the Santas followed the route round the Gardens and onto the pedestrianised Princes Street before returning to the Ross Bandstand to receive their winner’s medals.

This year’s Great Edinburgh Santa Run was a fantastic event, which also showed the true spirit of Christmas by helping to benefit children with life-threatening diseases.”



This is just so much fun.  I love the atmosphere of it and I wish I could have been there.  🙂

A Stewart Christmas



This Sunday, (11th December), there are two special Christmas events at Stirling Castle.

There will be fun for all the family with A Stewart Christmas, from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm when visitors can step back in time and enjoy a very light hearted and slightly irreverent return to the period of Mary Queen of Scots.

Visitors will be able to find out lots of fascinating facts about what Christmas would have been like in the Royal Stewart Court of the 16th century. There will be a juggler/magician, music and dancing, and the chance for children to dress up in renaissance clothes and have a go at renaissance games.

This is a great day out for all the family and is included in the price of admission.

There will also be a special performance of Carols at the Castle with the Stirling branch of The National Youth Choir of Scotland which will take place in the atmospheric surroundings of the Great Hall from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. They will perform traditional carols and popular festive songs and there will also be costumed characters who will perform scenes from Christmas past.

Tickets cost £14 & £10 for concessions and are available from the Albert Halls on 01786 473 544.

Gillian Macdonald, Executive Manager of Stirling Castle said: “This Sunday is going to be a day filled with festive fun for all the family. We are looking forward to A Stewart Christmas when our costumed performers will give you a light-hearted and humorous look at what Christmas was like back in the 16th century.

“We are delighted to welcome back the National Youth Choir of Scotland for their special performance of Carols at the Castle. The Great Hall is the perfect setting for an evening of traditional carols and popular festive songs to get everyone in the mood for Christmas.”

Log on to the website to find out more details about events happening at Stirling Castle and at Historic Scotland sites throughout Scotland.