Yes, it’s that time of year again – time to pop next door to wish your friends, relatives and neighbours a Happy New Year
It doesn’t matter if you’re not tall, dark and handsome – my wife says that one out of three’s not bad! – it’s what you’ve brought along as a first foot gift that matters!
Stuck for ideas? Well, here’s a selection of traditional Scottish gifts…
A favourite of the Broons of Glebe Street, the Sunday Post’s happy family. It’s a rich, moist fruitcake entirely encased in pastry. It’s sometimes called a “giant Garibaldi biscuit” but it’s bound to break the ice, especially if those you are visiting are a wee bit peckish! (Great recipe here)
It was once a tradition for a first foot to arrive carrying herring dressed in wee outfits, with ribbons or bow ties. Definitely a last resort – unless your neighbour has a large cat. This custom was especially popular in Dundee – find out more on our Christmas Q-aye!
A classic Hogmanay favourite, shortbread is about a Scottish as it comes. Home made is best (recipe here), but there are loads of great shop-bought varieties in presentation tins. A tin of shortbread also makes the perfect gift accompaniment to another sure-fire winner…
You can’t go wrong with this auld favourite, with a malt, grain or blend guaranteeing you a warm welcome. A Bells for the bells? Why not! But there are hundreds of other whiskies to choose from, and the Whisky Exchange has a great to the different and distinct flavours here.
In the old days where open fires ruled the roost and wood burning stoves were a thing of fancy, a present of this with the declaration “lang may yer lum reek!” would give you an even warmer welcome. Not so handy nowadays, however, as you can’t burn coal on leccy or gas.