First Footing & Hogmanay - The Ultimate Guide

It's a time of merriment and celebration, but it can also be a stressful time. The holiday season is filled with parties, shopping for gifts, making food to share with family and friends-all while trying to maintain sanity on the home front! 

It's not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed during this busy time of year, especially as First Footing & Hogmanay approach. But there are many things you can do to make the holidays less stressful.

Here are some tips and a list of helpful hints and tips about First Footing and the Hogmanay tradition to make things easier.


7 ways to reduce stress during the festive season of First Footing and Hogmanay

1) Set realistic expectations about what you'll accomplish over the next few weeks; then break those tasks into manageable chunks that will feel more doable as they're completed. Be realistic about how much time you have to devote to Christmas and Hogmanay planning and shopping. Try not to take on too much.

2) Take some much needed time to relax and read in the bath. Get some beautiful coloured candles and surround yourself with a warm bubble bath.

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3) If you know there is a situation that will be stressful, prepare ahead of time by doing things like getting enough sleep the night before, arranging your day so that you won't have too many things to do at once, or asking for help.

4) Set aside one day or evening each week dedicated to festive planning and errands. This will give you a few days' cushion between your time off work and the extra demands on your schedule.

5) Tell friends and family members how you prefer to communicate during this time of year. If you prefer calls instead of texts, or emails instead of Facebook posts, let people know that. It's always good to have a plan!

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6) Get plenty of exercise and eat well and surround yourself with home fragrances that improve your mood and leave you feeling positive. It sounds simple, but these are three primary ways to cope with stress during the festive season.

7) Don't worry about everything being picture-perfect. It's the people you love that matter most, so enjoy yourself!

What are the traditions of first footing at Hogmanay?

* First footing gifts are given in many ways these days, but traditionally it was that everyone would write their name on a piece of paper and put it into a hat. The first person to cross the threshold of your house on New Year's Day would be carrying a bottle of whisky, bread and salt (known as bannocks). These ensure good luck. Traditionally in Scotland they will be tall and dark haired! They would then leave this on the table with a glass of something stronger for you - just in case you have any mischievous plans up your sleeve!

* What do you say when your Scottish ancestors visit your home?







What is First Footing Someone?

scottish candles






How to prepare your home for First Footing & Hogmanay?

A new year's celebration that brings together close friends and family members is an excellent way to start the new year. If you're planning on hosting your first Hogmanay celebration, here's an expert's advice about how to make it a success:
  • Plan a menu that is simple to prepare and offers lots of variety. Choose straightforward recipes for the most important dishes, and make those ahead of time. If you're making gravy from scratch, find a convenient recipe and practice it ahead of time so that everything goes smoothly on your big day. Avoid complicated dishes if they mean being the host-with-the-most takes too much time.
  • Decide whether you'll serve dinner or party snacks, and what appetizers or drinks you'll have. Be sure to include plenty of both. If you're serving dinner, make sure you have enough for seconds. It's also a good idea to serve soup or salad at the beginning of the meal to get everyone mingling and talking.
  • Keep it light and easy to eat while mingling. You can't go wrong with finger foods like mini quiches, cheesy breads or even the traditional Scottish Haggis!
  • See if you can enlist the help of friends or family to do the shopping, cooking and other work. Keeping this part out of your hands will help keep everything else under control.
  • Decide on the room where you'll have people gather after they've arrived, and made First Footing. You can keep this room warm with a space heater if necessary. Make sure it's clean, bright, and welcoming with scented candles placed for beautiful lighting. Dinner candles are fantastic for this. If the room has a door to another area of the house, you might want to consider keeping it closed so that guests can concentrate on greeting each other.
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  • Make plans for rounding up everything from napkins to Champagne glasses. Decide whether you'll provide morning-after breakfast food. If so, do some research in advance on the kind of food that will give people a good start in the morning; something hot and hearty is best. You can also consider including assorted muffins, coffee cakes, scones with jam and cream.

Be prepared for anything! Make sure someone is responsible for keeping track of everyone who comes into your house on New Year's Day. Most importantly, enjoy your First Footing and Hogmanay. For all your traditional Scottish gifts ready for First Footing, or if you are entertaining for Hogmanay, why not visit Shearer Candles, Glasgow website for your Scottish Candles or visit one of our candle stores in Glasgow.


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