A sense of seasonal calm falls upon Harris as a quiet countdown to the big day gets underway. Coloured lights line the main street of our small village and windows are being lit with sparkling decorations, one by one.
Our own distillery fire remains lit too, now the focus of our relocated Shop, as we wind down for the quieter winter months, and where a warm welcome always awaits from Shona, Sandy, and Sarah.
But, we’re busy behind the scenes as we make both spirit for whisky and fill thousands of beautiful bottles of Isle of Harris Gin to send out into the world.
With just over three weeks to go until the 25th, our unique place in the world means a momentous journey is underway each day to deliver orders to customers far from our shores.
Local drivers travel north through the high hills of Harris, in the shadow of the snow-dusted Clisham mountain, and onwards to the harbour town of Stornoway for an often wild crossing of temperamental seas.
This stretch of rough waters separating us from the mainland is known as The Minch, or once upon a time Skotlandsfjörð, Scotland’s Fjord, by the Vikings.
It can be a perilous strait to sail, particularly in winter when the winds of a strong south-westerly rise to gale force.
And then there’s the Blue Men Of The Minch, or Na Fir Ghorma in Gaelic, to contend with, the mythical monsters who inhabit those deeps, seeking sailors to drown and stricken ships to sink.
We’re grateful for the hard work of those who make up the ferry crews which help us bring our festive wares safely across this briny barrier between us and our far-flung friends.
At this time of year, storms often sweep in from the Atlantic, slowing things down and keeping ships stuck in harbour, waiting out the high winds and waves.
So, while we always aim to deliver in a few days, bad weather may throw obstacles in our way, which is why we’re encouraging everyone to order early if they can.
If you'd like to send a gift from the Isle of Harris Distillery to any good girls and boys we're here to help, and happy to handwrite your festive messages (for free) too.
Just remember the last date for guaranteed delivery this Christmas is the 16th of December, so don’t miss the boat!