Whether they love bright lights and festive thrills, or relaxing retreats away from it all, these seasonal suggestions could be the perfect gift for a loved one this Christmas.

A night at the theatre

A Christmas Carol by the Citizens Theatre is the perfect choice for both families and grown-ups alike looking to celebrate the festive season with a heart-warming winter tale. Capturing the spirit of Charles Dickens' classic fable, this distinctive 5-star production was a sell-out in 2014 with audiences enchanted by the inventive storytelling, atmospheric set design and live music.  Now in 2018, Director Dominic Hill refreshes this beautifully staged and vividly imagined production for the Tramway stage.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a notoriously bitter old man who is determined not to let Christmas interfere with his miserly routine. A feared figure throughout the streets of London, he is unmoved by any pleas for charity. But one Christmas Eve, Scrooge receives some unexpected supernatural visitors who are determined to show him the error of his ways.

A Christmas Carol will warm even the coldest of hearts and leave all rejoicing in the Christmas spirit this winter! Recommended 6+

Peace and relaxation

When it comes to choosing the ultimate present, a voucher for a spa experience will be received with joy. Indulge your loved one this Christmas with the gift of relaxation - a Stobo Castle gift voucher. Leave the choice to them with monetary vouchers from £25 or give a specific experience with a Half Day voucher from £65. If a more inclusive treat is in order, choose a Spa Day voucher from £115 including 2 treatments and lunch or a residential voucher from £149pppn including all meals and use of the world-class spa facilities.

The award-winning Scottish Castle is set deep within the Scottish Borders countryside in private grounds and surrounded by vast pine forests and a tranquil lake. Stobo Castle is the ultimate escape where one can indulge in a luxurious haven, unwind and enjoy some of the finest hospitality and first class service that Scotland has to offer.

From the sweeping driveway when one enters the castle, guests are enveloped into an environment of unrivalled luxury, serenity and calmness. The personality of each room is unique but all are rich and elegant with perfect ambience to make one feel comfortable. The internationally renowned Cashmere Suite is Scotland’s most luxurious and opulent bedroom.

Guests are drawn to Scotland's only 25m Ozone Pool offering panoramic views of the Borders countryside and giant Hydrospa with relaxing water jets. Knowledgeable fitness trainers run a full range of classes throughout the day, suitable for every level of fitness. Whatever the senses desire, there are customised spa treatments available to detoxify, smooth, tone and revitalise as the mood suits, carried out by highly-trained personal therapists. Recent additions include a mixed steam room and sauna, three fairy-lit outdoor hot tubs and a relaxation suite.

The gently burbling Japanese Water Gardens are truly spectacular and are specially designed to promote a Zen-like calm. Water from the Stobo Lake tumbles down a cascading waterfall, whilst delightful little bridges take you over peaceful pools.

Stobo chef's create dishes sourced from only the finest Scottish produce that are not only delicious but promote healthy eating whilst satisfying even the heartiest appetite. In case there was any doubt, decadent desserts are on the menu, as are champagne and fine wine. In the new Cocktail Lounge, take in breathtaking views of the pool and countryside beyond whilst sipping your choice from our menu of over 30 cocktails, featuring new and classic combinations of decadent flavours. Our dedicated gin menu is also proving very popular!

Stobo Castle combines the finest spa facilities in the UK with premier hotel service and adds a personal touch to make Stobo your very own personal haven.

Treat someone who deserves to be pampered … give them a Stobo Castle gift voucher. Ordering is quick and easy by calling 01721 725300 or visiting www.stobocastle.co.uk and your voucher will be sent or emailed to a postal address of your choice.

Musical extravaganza

HeraldScotland:

Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook will return to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 19th December. Having become an essential part of people’s festive season over the past 12 years and the perfect anecdote to brighten those winter nights and get everyone in the mood for a wonderful festive period, the Christmas Songbook is an unmissable night of heart-warming entertainment from some of Scotland’s best-known and best-loved musicians.

Bursting with jovial anecdotes, an unfaltering mix of modern and traditional music alongside exquisite musicianship, the Christmas Songbook is undoubtedly the perfect way for the whole family to get into the festive spirit this Christmas. 

Phil Cunningham will be joined by some of the finest musicians on the Scottish folk scene including: Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker, Kris Drever, Ian Carr and Kevin McGuire along with a special guest Brass Band.

Best known as a superb and innovative instrumentalist, Phil Cunningham continues to enjoy an illustrious career having played with Silly Wizard and Relativity and still touring with witty musical partner, Shetland fiddler Aly Bain. A humourist and entertainer, his breezy banter can have a 2000-seat hall enraptured and laughing in hysterics.

Phil often keeps high company and no less is true for this year’s special Christmas gathering. A powerful mix of lead vocalists include the inimitable Eddi Reader, who has celebrated a career spanning over 3 decades and has effortlessly developed into one of popular music’s most thrilling and affecting performers with an MBE for outstanding contributions to the arts, 3 BRIT awards, a #1 single and 8 critically acclaimed solo albums.

Karen Matheson OBE is recognised the world over as the haunting lead vocalist of Celtic supergroup Capercaillie and has been described on a number of occasions as one of the finest Gaelic singers on the Scottish music scene.

Kris Drever, winner of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year award in 2017, is an Orcadian singer and guitarist who is part of the backbone of today’s contemporary roots scene and is widely admired as a solo artist, collaborator, and member of folk group Lau.

Also joining Phil are multi-instrumentalist, John McCusker, one of Scotland’s most accomplished and versatile musicians in any genre who has worked with artists as diverse as Mark Knopfler, Paul Weller and Patti Smith, Teenage Fanclub and Billy Connolly; Ian Carr, who is known for his original and eclectic approach to traditional music guitar and has established an instantly recognisable sound that has influenced countless musicians and Kevin McGuire who is a highly sought after double bassist who has performed with the likes of Karine Polwart and Kate Rusby.