Over the years, my husband and I have been invited to and attended many Christmas parties, but the one we went to last year was by far the best. The invitation had a beautiful picture of mist clad mountains. Above were the words: “Christmas in Scotland”. At first we thought it was an early Christmas card, but inside was a handwritten formal request from the Earl of Clariegh come to Glen Clariegh Castle for a Christmas celebration. My husband examined the return address while I read on. Below, in plainer type was the actual location, time and date of the party as well as a request for us to come in 18th century Scottish costume. My husband finally recognized the address as the home of a couple we knew. The idea sounded original and fun; we could hardly wait.
I thought my husband looked very dashing in his Scottish costume as I stole a glace at him while we stood on the porch waiting to be let in. Outside, their house looked no different than it did at any Christmastime, so I was hoping we weren’t in for a disappointment. A woman dressed as a servant opened the door and showed us in. She took us through the living room, to the den. I was amazed by what I saw.
The couches, coffee table, TV. and all the other furniture had been removed. A huge fireplace--like the kind found in a Scottish castle stood against the far wall. It was not lit and did not have a chimney so I guessed it must have been a prop from a movie set. Next to the façade was a Christmas tree decorated with a garland of artificial holly, red, green and gold plaid ribbon bows, and ornaments in the shape of hunting horns, drums, bagpipes and realistic miniature pheasants, stags and cardinals. A large table divided the room down the middle. It was covered with a plaid table linen matching the bows on the tree.
Our friends emerged dressed as the Scottish Earl of Clariegh and lady of the castle. The servant brought my husband a mug of ale and me a glass of red wine. We chatted with our hosts telling them how amazed we were with the decorations. More guests began arriving and soon the room was bustling with guests dressed as Scots.
Dinner was beef roast, leg of lamb, mashed potatoes, bread, and carrots and peas. The food was very good; I couldn’t have eaten another bite. As we were finishing up a band arrived to play traditional Scottish music.
When the table was cleared away our hosts led us in some traditional Scottish songs and dancing. Soon nearly everyone was participating and it got so hot in the den our host had to open the sliding glass door to the patio to let in some cool air.
My husband and I had such a good time we stayed well past midnight and there were still guests dancing when we left. We thanked our hosts for a wonderful time and said we would be glad to come to Glen Clariegh next year.