Posted by: christinelaennec | December 1, 2011

Scottish Christmas (Window) Shopping

Happy December, everyone!  The advent calendars have come out here at our house, and the decorations will go up soon (though not yet the tree).  We’re getting into the Christmas spirit.  I thought you might like to see some of the sights of Aberdeen about 5 p.m. or so, including some very Scottish shop windows.  The City Council has provided us with new Christmas lights (how did they afford that? I was just getting used to the old ones!):

Christmas angel, Aberdeen, December 2011.

Union Street, which is a mile long, is always a treat see, with Christmas lights from one end to the other:

Aberdeen Christmas lights looking down Union Street, December 2011.

When we first came to Aberdeen I was mystified by all the gear that men require for traditional dress.  In addition to the kilt, you need kilt hose (i.e. knee socks), flashes (ribbons on the kilt hose), a sporran (purse), a sgian-dubh (wee dagger to tuck into your kilt hose), brogues – and that’s just all from the waist down!  Alex Scott the kiltmakers has some lovely things for the Scottish male in their window:

For the man in your life: Alex Scott's the kiltmaker, Aberdeen, December 2011. You can see a selection of sporrans on the top shelf: some are furry, some are leather, and some are both.

And for the women?  Plenty of tartan, albeit with a more modern twist:

Tartan gear at Alex Scott's, Aberdeen, December 2011.

Oh it’s fun to window shop at this time of year, and I particularly enjoy shopping for other people at Christmastime – no guilt!



  1. I wish I could go shopping on Scotland for some Tartan…I love it! My decorations went up yesterday (not the tree yet of course) Anna-Maria was off from school because if strikes and it was lovely to do it together.
    It’s a cold day here today, so I feel quite Christmassy! Enjoy the festive season x

  2. Someone asked me if the red balls on the Union St Lights were ‘3D’ the other day. Wanted to shoot myself!

    Big shout out to the Kilt Pin, cufflinks, waistcoat and jacket too. 🙂

  3. The best Christmas Lights are in the harbour when the fishermen dress their boats with lights. Must make sure I get a picture. As seeing your lovely pics is probably the nearest I will get to Union Street this year!

  4. Thanks for sharing this Christmas pictures with us, I hope , one day, to spend Christmas in Scotland

  5. Oooh! I love the angel lights. I have not seen anything like that here in the states. Very artistic. The tartans are lovely, especially the purses. It is interesting to see all that goes into a man’s kilt. We have the ‘Highland Games’ here every year at our local fairground and see all the men wandering around town in kilts. Now I know what is underneath. Oh, that didn’t sound good. You know what I mean! lol! Looks like things are very festive there! xx

  6. lovely to see Christmas arriving in Aberdeen. i think it’s worthy of Scottish tradition that men still dress so well in their kilts, etc. it’s lovely to see and some day i would love to own one of those wonderful long tartan skirts or dresses. i was imagining what the granite buildings must look like with the lights reflecting off them in the cold. quite a picture, i imagine.

  7. What a beautiful windows and so nice decorated. Overhere they aren’t as good as these !!

  8. Thanks everyone!

    Heike, we are decorating today – though like you, the tree will wait a bit. Enjoy your festive season as well! I bet your house is beautiful.

    Paragraph – the 3-D remark is pretty funny! Yes, there’s so much kilty gear to mention, and then the choices to be made: hiking boots or brogues? lace-up shirt or not? etc.!

    Jill – I’d love to see that! I don’t think the ships in Aberdeen are decorated, but I love hearing their horns at midnight on Hogmanay.

    Erna – it would be grand if you could spend Christmas in Scotland some day!

    Karen – oh yes, I knew what you meant! 😉 I’m glad you like the angel lights, I’ve thought of you every time I’ve gone past them.

    ajb – I think the sight of men dancing in kilts at a ceilidh is the best part. I just love the swing of all those pleats. You should definitely get a tartan skirt, modern or otherwise. And yes, there are moments when even in the weak winter sun the granite does glisten.

    Carin – Glad you liked them!

  9. Yes, there are endless gift possibilities. I was rather taken aback by one of these a couple of years ago – see

  10. One of my Scottish friends talked me through his “traditional” outfit once, and I lost track about halfway. So many layers and things to keep track of. It’s all worth it though, they look spectacular.

    Perhaps you all got new lights for the same reason we did: someone stole the old ones. Why would anyone steal Christmas lights? No idea. But they did.

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