A Scottish Christmas



I grew up on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland, but moved away for 10 years. Those 10 years were spent in affluent multi-cultural cities that I loved, but they always felt temporary. I missed my sea and my people and never felt like I was ‘home’. The pull of my hometown grew stronger and eventually I settled back home where I belong.

Sadly, research has shown that the area I love so dearly  is the Worst Place in Britain to Raise a Family. This is due to factors such as high crime, low pay and less time spent with loved ones.  On paper it certainly reads like an undesirable location, but statistics don’t tell the whole truth. Statistics don’t describe the people and why they may have less time with family. I know those working long hours on minimum wage who don’t have much free time.  However, they’re doing the best they can to benefit loved ones and put a dinner on the table. Community spirit is rarely mentioned in these studies either.  In my experience, peoples belongings are passed down to friends, neighbours and even  friends of friends aunties neighbours two doors up.  Their purses may be empty but their hearts are full.

Here is a little poem about a child who wants a Christmas Tree, but his mum can’t afford one.  It’s written in Scottish slang, the way many children around here speak. Translation below the poem:

Can we huv a tree mammy,

a Christmas Tree?

It disnae huv tae be huge –

jist a nice wan, but wee


Oh come oan mammy, please.

Jist a wee tree

It disnae huv to be dear –

we could get it fir free


Oh mammy, how can we no?

Jist a wee, free tree

Nothin that fancy –

but wan fir pals to see


Hiy mammy, wit’s that yiv gote?

It’s somethin fir me?

Ah cannie believe it!

It’s a big, fancy, dear lookin tree!


Scottish to English Translation

Huv = have        Mammy  = mum      Disnae huv tae = doesn’t have to      Jist = just

Wan = one      Wee = small      No = not      Nothin – nothing      Fir – for

pals = friends     Hiy = Hey         Whit’s = what’s      Yiv gote = you’ve got      Cannie – can’t

Dear lookin = expensive looking


19 thoughts on “A Scottish Christmas

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