Me late faither was from Glesga (that's Glasgow to the rest of us.) He used to tell tales of celebrating Hogmanay, which was more important to him than Christmas. The tradition is that you have ginger beer or a wee dram of whiskey at midnight on December 31st, along with shortbread. Your toasts could include his favorites:
-Lang may yur lum reek...(Long may your chimney have smoke coming out of it, to show you have coal to cook and stay warm.)
-Here's tae us, wuz lak us, damn the yens that duznae lak us...(Here's to us and others who are like us, or kin. To hell with everyone else!)
Tradition says that the first person through your doorway in the new year must be a tall, dark-haired man carrying a bottle (so you'll have drink in the new year), a bit of shortbread (so you'll have enough to eat) and a lump of coal (so you'll be kept warm and be able to cook). My Dad loved Hogmanay, since he'd wander around the streets of Glasgow looking for bars with lines of blond and red-haired men, short men and women, waiting for him. He'd drink for free for being the first through the door.
Since I associate the accent and all things Scottish with my Dad, I'm probably the only romance writer ever who won't read or write about brawny Scotsmen with kilts. I apologize for that.
But Happy Hogmanay to everyone, and best of health to you in 2013!