WE all thought it would be over by Christmas.

WE all thought it would be over by Christmas.

But Scotland's indyref - months after the big vote - has re-emerged on our high streets just in time for the festive season.

Yes shops are springing back up across the country, some bigger and - organisers insist - better than at the height of the campaign.

InverYess, the former campaign hub in the Highland capital, this weekend opened its doors for what it called "Yesmas".

Christmas goodies for sale included Nicola Sturgeon tour mugs for £6.50, Yes pens and Still Yes wristbands for £1 each.

But similar venues are back up and running from Alloa to Hamilton, and from Kirriemuir to Largs.

Nationalists and their allies insist the continued visible town centre presence of such campaign hubs underlines that the pro-independence groups have no intention of standing down after their September defeat.

In Dunoon, long-standing SNP activist David McEwan Hill is running a pro-independence outlet branded as "Forward".

Bigger than the Yes shop set up during the campaign, the venue covers its own costs thanks to scores of supporters and a steady if modest trade in sweets and a cards.

"We are going like rockets," Mr Hill said. "We have a constant stream of people coming in to chat or to buy bits and pieces.

"We have a wee cafe area where you can have tea and biscuits and we have literature from all sorts of groups that supported independence; we're not just SNP."

Mr Hill sees the shop as a growing community asset; other locals groups are hiring it, he said, including pro-independence parties which have seen membership soar since the No vote.

As SNP membership heads towards 100,000, the old Yes shops are morphing in to meeting places and social hubs in the the way that trades union clubs did when Labour was a mass movement.

In Oban, for example, the old Yes shop has morphed in to a pro-independence cafe called Grassroots. Its stated aim: "to carry forward the energy and enthusiasm which blossomed locally around the independence referendum."

There is no national strategy to keep pro-independence venues on High Streets. The official Yes Scotland campaign is over and different grassroots groups have taken different views on whether to shut up shop or not.

Some - such as most in Glasgow - have decided they can do without retail units since they have no referendum campaign to organise.

Rents, after all, tend to be higher in the cities, meaning many of the Yes shops still on the go tend to be in smaller towns.

The big urban centres, moreover, have commercial or semi-commercial venues sympathetic to the independence cause, such as the Yesbar in Glasgow and the Free Space art gallery in Edinburgh, so don't need to keep shops.

The Common Weal group in Leith, meanwhile, takes over a cafe in the evening for a pro-independence venue called The Common.

Some Yes activists have decided to combine campaigning with charity work, such as providing collection points for local food bank, that speaks to their political agenda.

In Clackmannanshire, for example, Women for Independence has taken over the old Alloa Yes shop, which is now providing children's toys and clothes.

Others are turning in to firmly political and community venues. This Saturday the Yes shop in Largs was formally re-opened with music and speeches. Newly elected SNP councillor Grace McLean explained: "The Largs shop has never really closed. "That is because there were so many people who wanted to keep going. There is a lot of enthusiasm for independence in the town. But it is also a very good meeting place and has been used very well."

Yes Inverclyde closed its shop in Greenock. But regretted the move: it is now holding Yesmas events to raise enough money for a permanent home.

Ronnie Cowan, of Yes Inverclyde, explained: "We are not going anywhere," he said. "The Yes campaign is here to stay. "