Christmas day is full of joy, tradition, family and community, but not everyone celebrates the same. This holiday season, we wanted to explore the magic of Christmas around the world with members of the Kiltane Family, who have taken the time to share with us how they celebrate at home in their own cultures.
Read on below to discover how Christmas is enjoyed in Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Poland and the USA!
Christmas in Italy
Georgia, HR Admin
Christmas is a big thing in Italy. The festive season starts from the 6th of December all the way until the 6th of January. On La Vigilia (Christmas Eve) we don’t normally eat meat. Instead, we have multiple dishes of fish and seafood. Eating Panettone (sweet bread) is a tradition in our family with an affogato (espresso with a scoop of ice cream) in the evening.
On the 6th of January we receive gifts from the good witch known as la Befana. The legend says that on this date she would fill stockings up with candy for children on the good list and coal for children on the naughty list.
Ideal Kiltane Gift: my ideal gift for a family member would be the Made in Scotland Wide Cashmere Scarf in Exploded Camel Thompson because who doesn’t love a soft and cosy scarf!
Christmas in Ireland
Niamh, Ecommerce Assistant
On the 26th of December, we celebrate St. Stephens Day instead of Boxing Day. As the name suggests, the day is dedicated to the Christian Saint Stephen. This day commemorates the saint who was the first Christian Martyr and was known for his service to the poor and needy.
Whilst not as popular in recent years, the 26th is also known as Wren Day. When you translate Wren to its Irish word ‘dreoilí’, it means trickster which is related to the trickery nature of the Wren Bird. On the 26th, you will sometimes find ‘Wren Boys’ calling from house to house singing the ‘Song of the Wren’ which is an old folklore known to bring bad luck unless rewarded monetarily.
Ideal Kiltane Gift: With its soft textures and warm feel, I would gift a Lambswool Throw in Blackwatch because it reminds me of Christmas.
Christmas in South Africa
Chloe, Office Assistant
As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas comes in the summer. Meaning lots of sun and gorgeous flowers in bloom.
Our Christmas Day tradition was to wake up early to open presents and have a 'braai' (BBQ) with family and friends in the afternoon. We would also be sipping on refreshing drinks and enjoying dips in the swimming pools. For dessert we had the traditional dessert, Malva Pudding.
Ideal Kiltane Gift: As most of my family is in South Africa, my ideal Kiltane gift to give them would be the Cashmere Scarf in Candy 3 Square Check. It is bright and fun, just like a South African Christmas.
Christmas in the USA
Siobhan, Ecommerce Assistant
When I was growing up in the US, I remember decorating our Christmas tree with popcorn! We would thread it along on fishing wire and wrap it around the tree, almost like tinsel. In fact, the first time I saw tinsel on a tree was when my family and I moved to Scotland in 2001. This is a really old tradition that I don’t think is as popular as it once was.
Another fond memory I have included baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and leaving carrots outside for the reindeer too. (Although I found out much later that the reindeer who ate the carrots turned out to be our dog!)
Ideal Kiltane Gift: The Made In Scotland Cashmere Scarf in Royal Stewart is such a festive tartan, I think it’d make a great present.
Christmas in Poland
Marta, Stock Controller
In Poland, Christmas Eve is one of the most important days throughout the holidays. After the first star appears in the sky, we start with a meal with 12 different dishes to represent the 12 apostles. We don’t have meat, but we do enjoy lots of fish including the Christmas Carp. Some families even keep the carp in their bathtubs at home before Christmas Eve arrives.
After our meal, we exchange gifts and sing Christmas carols and at the end of the night, we then go to church to enjoy Midnight Mass.
Ideal Kiltane Gift: The Lambswool Throw in Pewter Scotty Thompson is my favourite!