Tourists walk along Luss pier with a backdrop of Ben Lomond in Luss, Scotland.
Tourists walk along Luss pier with a backdrop of Ben Lomond in Luss, Scotland. - 
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Smith says shopping is a bit different in Edinburgh, Scotland. Folks do hold off for bargains, but shoppers aren't as consumer-oriented as in the U.S.

"We don't have the Black Friday. After Black Friday when I was in the office people were laughing. They're like, 'What is this? These people are in line for what?' I had to explain to them because I worked retail when I was in school and I was explaining to them what people were doing and they were just absolutely mortified by the fact that somebody would stand in line and try to do something and to try to buy a television for really cheap. They just don't get that here," says Smith.

Smith says at first he missed the big deals and bargains that come with the holiday season, but has found himself wanting fewer things as time has passed. He says Scottish people will be talking about the weather over Christmas dinner -- particularly tough flooding. But when it comes to discussing some of Europe's economic woes, he says people will "keep calm and carry on."

Smith says one thing he misses about Christmas is a real, proper snow ("here when it snows it's really dusty and it doesn't really stick") and the sun.

"Needless to say, when you have the forecast of rain and the long hours of darkness it kind of feels like I'm Bill Murray waking up in the hotel on Groundhog Day and all I need is Sonny and Cher singing 'I Got You Babe,'" says Smith.

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Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson