Community at Christmas

The word community is used a lot, particularly when talking about our islands. We can’t say for sure whether our local community is any different, or indeed closer, than other communities across the country but what we do know is that it is important to us. Without it we’d be much poorer in spirit and success in all sorts of ways.
In big cities and thriving towns it is often easy to live a life independent of others. Here in Harris, the challenges of the day to day are often a little more complicated, particularly at this time of year when the winter weather rolls in. It is a rare Hearach who has never leaned on a neighbour for a helping hand and a rarer one who will never offer theirs to those in need. 
It’s simply how we work. Each and every day we turn to each other to get things done.

So Christmas provides a great opportunity to celebrate all that is good about being part of the Harris community. With our disparate homes and villages spread out across the island it’s also a good excuse to gather for some fun events, even if just to enjoy a few hours together as an island family.​

With the Tarbert village tree now up and lit (and moored with ropes like a boat in a storm!) in our distillery car park, we’re happy to find ourselves feeling more than a bit festive. We’ve already been providing some seasonal spirit to our neighbours in Stornoway at their own community Christmas event and tomorrow we play host to the annual Isle of Harris Santa Run!
Organised by the brigade members of the Tarbert Fire Services team, a collection of Clauses will be setting off around the village with the real Santa leading the way in his sleigh. After a lap or two with lots of local kids, parents and grandparents looking on, Mr Claus will be settling down in his seat by our distillery’s peat fire to give out some presents to boys and girls, whether or not they’ve been naughty or nice.

We’re laying on lashings of mulled wine and mince pies (with juice and sweet things for the young ones) and plenty of hot chocolate to bring some warmth too. All proceeds from the event will be going to a local charity and we’re really looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces in one place at this special time of the year.
Moments like these remind us that after such a successful first year of distilling, we can’t do what we do without the goodwill and support of our island family. They're the people who not only make our spirit what it is but have been the best ambassadors we could have hoped for, spreading the word of our work far and wide. 
With Christmas almost upon us we raise a festive glass to good friends and strong communities such as the one we find ourselves at the heart of here in Harris, and to you and yours wherever you are in the world tonight.​

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