Collectible Christmas Ornament Preserves Scottish Castles and Saves Special Places

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The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA launches a new collection of collectible, blown-glass Scottish Castle Christmas ornaments to help protect natural and cultural treasures.

Christmas ornament depicts Scottish Castle known as Criagievar

The 2013 NTSUSA Craigievar Castle Christmas Ornament

"Sales of the ornament will greatly assist in the costly care and maintenance of Craigievar Castle and other irreplaceable monuments and unique places in Scotland." -Ian Gow, Chief Curator, The National Trust for Scotland

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA (NTSUSA) selects Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire to be the subject of the first in a series of unique Christmas ornaments it will sell to raise funds for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). In addition to iconic Scottish castles, the NTS protects hundreds of special places and heritage monuments, including Falkland Palace, the Robert Burns Birthplace and Museum, Bannockburn Battlefield, and St. Kilda World Heritage Site.

"It delights me that Craigievar Castle, which was erected between 1610 and 1626, will be the first NTSUSA Christmas ornament. Funds raised will greatly assist in the costly care and maintenance of Craigievar and other irreplaceable monuments in Scotland. It is our job to preserve Scotland's great treasures for future generations and this ornament, the first in a series of annual editions, will ensure that Craigievar and the other castles cared for by the National Trust continue to welcome visitors for years to come," says Ian Gow, Chief Curator, the National Trust for Scotland.

The Scottish Castle Collection was conceived by James Hare, Executive Director at NTSUSA. “Craigievar is one of Scotland's best preserved tower houses and most enchanting landmarks, which makes it the logical choice for our first collectible Christmas ornament. We hope the inaugural ornament in our Scottish Castle Collection will be as popular as Craigievar is with visitors.

The sale of the hand-blown and hand-decorated glass Christmas ornament includes a $50 tax-deductible donation to the Preservation Fund that NTSUSA maintains for the National Trust for Scotland. Sales of the ornament also benefit participating Scottish heritage associations in the U.S. that are promoting the program. The Craigievar Castle ornament sells for $90.00, which includes protective packaging and free shipping within the U.S. Participating heritage groups include Clan Macpherson Association, Clan Currie Society, the St. Andrew's Society of Albany and the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations.

Christmas was celebrated much differently in Scotland in 1626; the year that Craigievar was completed. Rather than a Christmas tree, a single Yew branch was likely adorned with fruits and berries or special treats. Then as now however, December 22nd was the shortest day of the year, and the burning glow of a Yule Log represented the end of long nights and return of spring.

Christmas in Scotland today continues to take many of its traditions from the Celts. The Yule log, cut during the summer is still brought into the house with much ceremony, and is kept burning through the night on Christmas Eve to ensure good luck for the coming year. It was not until the late Victorian period that Christmas became the holiday modern Scots recognize.

“My colleagues in Scotland and I hope that Americans of Scottish descent, or people in the States who simply love Scotland, will start a new Christmas tradition, while also giving a special gift to Scotland, by adding a new Scottish castle Christmas ornament to their collection each year," says Hare.

Ornament Ordering Information: Ornaments must be reserved by October 1st at a cost of $90.00. Each purchase includes a $50.00, tax-deductible donation to the Preservation Fund maintained by the NTSUSA. Free shipping to addresses within the United States is included. To order go to http://www. ntsusa.org or send order and payment information to: NTSUSA, 45 School Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02108 or fax order to (617) 227-4200.

About the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA:
The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA is a not for profit entity in the United States (FEIN 04-35-11088). Its mission is to encourage Americans to participate in the care of the cultural and national treasures protected by the National Trust for Scotland and facilitate their fully tax-deductible donations to help the Trust carry out vital preservation and conservation work.

By providing grants that assist in funding urgent conservation activities, the Foundation ensures that the heritage shared by Scots and Americans is safeguarded for future generations. Two million visitors every year visit Trust properties to experience the best of Scotland's past, present and future. An estimated two million more visit the Islands and Highlands, beaches, mountains and nature preserves protected by the National Trust for Scotland.

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Carolyn Wahto
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