The Gate House was once the main entrance to a large house and estate in the Cairngorms in Scotland.  The house and estate is still lived in but the inhabitants of 'the big house' use other entrances nowadays and this has allowed them to sell off the gatehouse.  It is used as a holiday home for an Edinburgh couple living in London.  They are trying to furnish it with an eclectic mix of Art and Crafts style furniture but in a 'modern' setting.  We are seeing it in Winter 2013 as Elizabeth and Andrew McKenzie take a short ski break for Christmas. 

It is the 23rd of December and Elizabeth and Andrew are in the sitting room enjoying the log fire.  Elizabeth is wrapping last minute gifts for the friends and family she and Andrew will be seeing over the next couple of days.  She has chosen books for everyone this year.  Ollie, the kitten, is having a great time chasing the paper and ribbon.

They are waiting for the Minister and his wife to arrive to collect two of the pies, that Elizabeth made earlier in the day, for the Christmas Eve Bake Sale at the kirk tomorrow.  Elizabeth has set out the usual cheese and biscuits and a glass (or two) of wine ready for them.  It is the Minister and his wife's routine to eat their way round the village on the 23rd. It begins with starter at the first house, stopping for a quick main course with his sister and family, followed by dessert at Mrs McBryde's, who is famous for her puddings.  All this is interspersed with collecting things for the sale.  Finally they arrive at the McKenzie's where they will have a glass or two and some cheese and biscuits; picking up two more pies and off up to the 'big house for coffee and more donations.  It makes for a long and late evening for them and the people they visit, but it has become the marker for the start of Christmas proper.

Elizabeth and Andrew have been skiing earlier and Andrew has cleaned off the skis and left them to dry in the shelter of the gate house.  He also sorted out the toboggan and cleaned it up ready for his niece when the family visit tomorrow.  All the decorations are finished and they are almost ready for Christmas Day.

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