Christmas in the Scottish Highlands

The weather in central Scotland these past fews days has been perfect for hill walks. I love the quality of the light during these short winter days. The sun sets by 3:30 PM and comes low across the sky. I am a sucker for a good sunset, and as we walked last night into the hills well over an hour after sunset, the sky and the moon radiated amazing light changing the look of the hills every minute.

Although we didn’t get snow for Christmas, a thick frost covered the ground and trees this morning making it almost a white Christmas.

Of course Christmas in the UK looks and sounds and tastes different than it does in the US. Folks get dressed up in “fancy dress” as seen in the photo of Captain Hook’s gay brother stocking the Marmite at Tescos.

The British sing some carols I never heard before and even when they sing songs where I know the words, they sing them with different tunes altogether. Food is different too, hot sweet punch, mince pies, Christmas pudding. I did make some vegan eggnog this mornig so that I can taste Christmas as I am used to it.

All of these cultural differences got me thinking about the Bible and how the cultures back in the First Century in the Greek-speaking Roman Empire were vastly different than our modern “Western” cultures today.

If little things like Christmas foods come out so differently between two modern English speaking countries, even with all the access to travel, the Internet, TV and film, how can we presume to understand the translated Bible texts written in another language, at another time, in cultures all together different that our own.

Yet people proclaim “The Bible says x,y,z!” and condemn whole groups of people who don’t fit in with the modern interpretation they ascribe to the texts. Like a good hill walk, we need to take it slowly with these texts, catch up with each other, be considerate of each others’ pace, stop, be still, wait and allow the Light to change the quality of our vistas.

And off I go to Christmas dinner. Happy Merry Funky!

This post has 15 Comments

  1. Anna HP on December 25, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Merry christmas sweet P.
    Love the photos. There is a photo on my blog on my even more red hair. My brother, my friend Mattias and I are going out tonight. The christmas day is the party evening of the year here ..

  2. alex resare on December 25, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Christmas is sooo yesterday…

    Good sunsets and perfect hill walks. I understand how they have to compensate everything beautifull with fancy dressed shop assistants.

    Vegan eggnog? Just nog then?

  3. Heath on December 25, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Hey, Peterson!

    Merry Christmas!!!!!! 😀

  4. Nillo on December 25, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    Merry Christmas 🙂 The picture of the view from the balcony was beautiful.

  5. Peterson Toscano on December 25, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    thanks anna ph, merry right back at ya! Even MORE read hair, what did you color now???

    alex, you are punchy today aren’t you? Yes, eggless nog. you got a problem with that??? And now that Christmas is over in the United Kingdom, we still have Boxing Day (whatever that is)

    heath, dude! I’ll look for you on-line later!

  6. Peterson Toscano on December 25, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    nillo, thanks! I nearly cracked my head open on the frosty deck!

  7. KJ on December 25, 2006 at 6:48 pm

    Merry Christmas!

    Captain Hook at Christmas time? Hmmm…

  8. Elliot on December 25, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    Happy holidays, Peterson. Much love.

  9. alex resare on December 25, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Boxing Day has to be a day when nothing more then a pair of boxers shall be worn.

    I don’t really know what eggnog is exept for what I have heard from american TV but I thought it was egg, milk and some spirits. But I am all for spirits so I can take the vegan part of thouse three. Raw eggs and milk are not for me.

  10. Heath on December 25, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Ohhh, Alex! Eggnogg used to freak me out because it sounded gross, but I finally had some. It’s really good, it tastes like gingerbread 🙂

  11. mike ashborn on December 26, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Hello I came across your post today, and it was great for us to see your shots of Crieff and the Highlands. My partners Scottish, and his sister lives in Crieff, so it’s pretty familiar to us. Are you spending hogmanay there?

  12. Eric on December 26, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    Merry Christmas, my friend! =)

    I envy you sometimes Peterson. The things you’ve seen, the places you’ve been, the people you’ve met. The adventure of your life is inspiring!

    Blessings to you and for this new year!

  13. Peterson Toscano on December 26, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    Mike, thanks for the comment. Yeah, Crieff is a LOVELY place and so conveniently located. I might just move here!

    Eric, thanks, but no need to envy me. I see you are on an adventure of your own, one that many would be tempted to envy.

    KJ, yeah, weird, right?

    Elliot, much love back!

  14. Freedom Bound on December 26, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    A very Merry Christmas from this end of the UK!

    Stunning pics – thank you so much for sharing them.

    “Captain Hook at Christmas time? Hmmm…”

    Aha kj – you see “Pantomimes” are all the rage at Christmas in the UK (practically every theatre has one on) and Peter Pan is high on the list of the stories being told in them……..

    …it’s all in the context isn’t it? As Brit I knew exactly why Captain Cook is part of Christmas, but without the context the image made no sense at all…..

  15. Peterson Toscano on December 28, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    freedom bound, thanks! It is so easy to take good pictures in Scotland, so easy.

Leave a Comment