DIGBY, N.S. – Memories can blur over time, but some special family times remain sharp and clear. Tideview Terrace residents Arnold Trask, Marjorie Prime and Avis Gidney took a few moments this week to think about and share their special Christmas memories.
What’s your favourite Christmas memory?
Arnold Trask: “I remember I got a new sled for Christmas one year. A nice one made of wood, with metal runners underneath, and we had snow on Christmas Eve that year, but by Christmas morning, there was no snow. In fact, we had no snow until later into January so the sled didn’t get much use that year. But over the years, we used to coast a lot. I remember another year I got a mouth organ. I taught myself to play after I found a book up in the attic that showed the notes and how to play. I’m not sure who that belonged to. My grandfather I guess.”
Marjorie Prime: “It was so lovely looking forward to Santa’s arrival. It was the anticipation that I remember. Decorating the tree and all of the baking – we did a lot of baking. And we used to write our letters to Santa Claus and then my mother would put them into the stove and tell us that the smoke would deliver them to the North Pole. And we had Christmas stockings with ribbon candy and an apple and an orange.”
Avis Gidney: “I remember the music. My father was very musical and I used to play for him. I took piano lessons, and I kept at it, I was determined to play well. I played the organ and led the choir at the Little River Baptist Church for 45 years. I really enjoyed my time practicing with the choir and our Christmas Cantatas every year. And I remember decorating the Christmas tree with icicles and little bells. Christmas time was always so special.”
What Christmas traditions did your family share?
Arnold Trask: “Christmas is really special and we always made a big event out of it. We drove for miles to find a Christmas tree and would tramp through two feet of snow to find the perfect tree. We always had a Norway Pine tree, not a Scotch Pine. We’d always have a big dinner, with a chicken – we had our own chickens. We had a small farm out on Lighthouse Road. Our family always enjoyed Christmas.”
Marjorie Prime: “We always had a good Christmas. My father would go out into the woods and find a tree. And on Christmas Day, after we’d opened our presents we would go visiting around the neighbourhood. And with my own family, I always did lots of baking – white cake, fruit cake, minced pies, other pies, you name it, I baked it. And on Boxing Day, I always made a large pot of seafood chowder, with haddock and lobster and scallops. It became a real tradition, and the family loved it.”
Avis Gidney: “On Christmas morning, we would open our gifts and then we would go next door to our neighbours and I would visit with my friend and see what she got for Christmas. We would gather around the piano and sing carols and I would play the piano. It was wonderful. I love of the Christmas Carols, I don’t have a favourite. Maybe my favourite to play is Joy to the World, I always liked to play that one.”
What’s your special message for the community this Christmas?
Arnold Trask: “Enjoy it and make the most of it. And have a Merry Christmas. Oh, and if you're giving your kids a sled for Christmas, please make sure there's some snow."
Marjorie Prime: “Remember the magic of Christmas and realize how important family is. Try to keep the Christmas in Christmas.”
Avis Gidney: “Be together with family and friends. And remember the Christmas music. It should always be part of the tradition.”