Since becoming a Scottish Laird last year I've had to brush up on my knowledge of local holiday customs. Nothing is more conspicuous or off putting than the no-nothing American in with a band of locals, keeping ancient traditions alive.
The Scottish New Year Eve celebration derives from the Viking tradition aided unwittingly by dour Methodists and the Church of Scotland. For 400 years, until the 1950's, The Church forbade Christmas celebrations in Scotland. Their belief was that Christmas was a papist feast, something Scots should have no hand in. So the Scots worked Christmas and celebrated the winter solstice at New Year's Eve parties, Hogmanies, where friends would gather and gifts would be exchanged,whisky shared, Auld Lang Syne sung at midnight along with ample kissing under the mistletoe.
After midnight "First Footing" is still practiced. The first guest for the new year should be a dark haired man bearing the symbolic gifts of salt, bread, coal and a wee dram of spirits. A blond headed man would never due. The Vikings were blond, and when they showed at your door historically it meant trouble.
My Irish male relations would prefer a lusty, blond, whisky bearing, woman be their first New Year's visitor although not a one would have a clue how to keep her entertained before mother returned home.
Whatever your practice, be safe (ish). Be a bit naughty but don't get caught. Lie if you must. I'll leave the light on for ya, see ya next year. Happy New Year.