Christmas Holiday Homes 2016

Celebrating Christmas with family and friends away from home is becoming increasingly popular, so more properties are opening their doors to welcome guests during the festive season.

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Christmas 2016

Christmas is a fantastic and exciting time of year for a family to get together. As a traditional season of meeting up and getting festive in large groups, what better way to really push the boat out, than to rent a beautiful holiday house. A large self-catered holiday home is a picture postcard ideal for many holiday makers looking to get away for Christmas.

Christmas In England

Christmas In Wales

Christmas In Scotland

Scotland has much to offer those looking for a winter holiday. With dramatic landscapes, and snow-capped mountains the scenery will leave you breathless. For active holidays there are a number of Ski Centres, and always a range of outdoor activities that can be found all year round. With Traditional Christmas markets and festive tartan decorations, you will find Christmas in full swing when you arrive at your holiday venue.

DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS

It is very easy to get carried away with the romanticism of Christmas, but it’s worth remembering that planning for a Christmas holiday away is always a busy and exciting time, and there are plenty of things to think about. In the bustle of trying to remember what to take with you, don’t forget about what you leave behind. Before embarking on your holiday away, there are a few things to remember to do to keep you and your home safe and sound.

  • Inform your neighbours of your plans, if they are sticking around they could keep an eye on your house for you.
  • Adjust your thermostat. Your house doesn’t need to be kept toasty warm if you are not there, but you don’t want anything to freeze either. Turning it down a few clicks will save you a bit on your winter bill.
  • Water your plants, and your Christmas tree if you have a real one up!
  • Purchase an automatic timer and leave a lamp in your hall or landing, set to come on in the evenings. Christmas tends to be an ‘easy pickings’ time for burglars, so do your best to deter opportunists.
  • Make sure you have breakdown cover, and have all the contact details you need on you when you travel. Should the worst happen, Christmas is a busy time on the roads, and you don’t want to get stuck!

Before you leave the house, make sure you have packed some ‘must have’ items that you may not want to be without! Take some medical provisions, because Christmas is a horrible time to be ill. Some cold and flu remedies, paracetomol, and a bottle of calpol for the kids is a must. Don’t forget batteries and chargers. There are so many electronic devices around these days, don’t get caught short with a flat I-Pad battery, or a fancy new toy that can’t be used. Do you need your phone book? Most people have all the contacts they need in their phones these days, but just have a think before you leave, is there any one you would want to call to wish a Merry Christmas? And do you have their number?! 

GAMES TO PLAY OVER CHRISTMAS

Once you arrive at your destination, you will all want to be able to relax and get into the full swing of Christmas. To keep everyone jolly and to keep the week hassle free, we have devised a list of things for you and your group to think about when planning the trip.

1)                Secret Santa – will help reduce the number of gifts you need to bring for each other, and has the added fun element. Maybe the kids could do one themselves.

2)                Entertainment – All our properties have a TV and most nowadays have some kind of music system, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check first, and possibly take your own devices with you, loaded up with your choice of music. Christmas songs are a must at this time of year, and you might want to take a few Christmassy DVDs to watch on Christmas Eve with the family.

3)                Games - it might be fun to have some board games tucked away, or just get some ‘party game’ ideas together to roll out as the occasion suits. Charades and Pictionary are all time classics family Christmas games. A pack of cards would go amiss either!

4)                Food – perhaps the most time consuming element of planning a family holiday away, with the potential added stress of a Christmas Roast with all the trimmings added to the mix. Plan your shopping in advance, order what you need to, and make sure you know where your local shops are in Scotland in you need to top up supplies. A weekly menu may seem a little regimented for a holiday, but it helps to have an idea of what you are going to do on each day. Don’t forget to watch out for use by dates if you are shopping before you go.

5)                Cooking – preparing a meal for a large group can be stressful even if you enjoy cooking, so again, plan your meal, and enlist help where necessary. Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but if you have the right amount working together you can create hassle free mealtimes for all. Maybe each family/couple could take it in turns to cook for the group for a day?

6)                The Big Day – again, no one wants to feel like they are under a regime, but having a plan for Christmas day will make sure everything gets achieved. Different families have different ways; some do presents before breakfast, some after, some like to have Christmas Dinner at lunch time, for others it’s the evening meal, so getting together and working out what you are doing when will prevent chaos from ensuing. If anyone has particular traditions that they don’t want to miss out on, maybe they can share the experience with the whole group. 

Never is there a better time to get together any play silly games with the family that at Christmas. If you have teenagers, this is probably the only time you’d get their cooperation! We have thought up a few ideas of games you can play, some requiring a bit of pre-planning, but others just needing a few pencils and some paper.

1)     Charades – a old classic parlour game where players act out silent clues.

2)     2 Truths And A Lie - Players takes it in turns to tell two truths and a lie and others have to question them to establish which is the lie.

3)     Hide and Seek / Sardines – another classic. Probably not always suited to the older generation, but I think adults could happily get involved.

4)  Pictionary – another old classic.  Variations can include the drawer being blind folded, or the game being played in pairs, with one person holding the pencil, and the other person ‘drawing’ by guiding the first person’s hand.

5)     Celebrity Name Game –Take with you a sheet of sticky labels. Everyone writes down the name of a famous person on a label, and sticks it to the forehead of someone else. Players then take it in turns to work out who they are by asking the group yes or no questions about themselves.

6)  Yes or No? – Players pair up and ask each other questions. The aim of the game is to get the other player to say yes or no, Players must answer to the affirmative or negative but without using yes or no! 

7)  Hunt The Thimble – a good game to set the children up with. No need for an actual thimble, you could use another prop. The item has to be visible without moving anything in the room. The game can be intersected with ‘hot, hotter, COLD!’ to make it easier if you want. Easy peasy game, and is again well suited to big houses with big rooms.

8)  Guess The Tune – one person hums or whistles a song and everyone has to try and guess the song. This can be an easy game for children, or harder for the grownups.

9)  Name Games – there are a number of variations; in the Alphabet Game players choose a topic and take it in turns to name an item, only each answer has to begin with the next letter of the alphabet, eg – things you find in the kitchen – apple, bottle, cupboard, drink etc. In the Animal Name Game players take it in turns to name an animal that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. Memory Game requires players to recite an ever growing list eg Player one: I went to the shops and bought an apple. Player two: I went to the shops and bought an apple, and a carrot. Each player has to recite the list so far, and then add an item themselves.

Celebrating a Christmas in Scotland, whether with family or friends will be a memorable experience for everyone. A self-catered holiday house is just the thing for a large group, where you can enjoy a home from home experience, with a touch of grandeur on one of our large houses or castles. If you would like help with choosing the perfect venue for your holiday, please just contact us and we will be more than happy to talk through your options.

BOOK A CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY THROUGH SCOTTS CASTLE HOLIDAYS

Celebrating Christmas and New Year with family and friends away from home is becoming increasingly popular, so more properties are opening their doors to welcome guests during the festive period.

It is natural that large holiday houses present the perfect opportunity to experience a family festive celebration in a home away from home, with the comforts one would expect at home.

Christmas and New Year are two of the most popular weeks in the calendar year for visitors wishing to book properties, particularly the self catered ones. 

Scotts experiences first hand, the disappointment by clients when they leave it too late to book a property over the festive period.  As demand often exceeds supply, we highly recommend you organise yourselves well in advance if you are considering going away for Christmas or New Year.  

All our properties will supply a Christmas tree if requested inclusive of the rental price. Some may decorate the trees for you, others may prefer you to bring your own decorations.  It is best to check with the office staff if you have any particular requirements.

As many of our properties are surrounded by farmland, it is always a matter of courtesy to advise Scotts if you wish to let off fireworks during your stay.  Some farmers may need to move stock if practical.  A small number of properties will not allow fireworks displays on their grounds for insurance reasons. If in doubt, please check with the office.


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