“The Christmas House” of Carleton Place – Carleton Place Hospital Foundation Christmas House Tour

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I waited a few days to write this blog after another beloved Hallmark Hall of Fame movie was viewed this week. Today I still questioned whether I could get through typing this without crying. I am a chronic crier, and many mundane things make me tear up. Emotional crying is kind of like nature’s way of naturally regulating our moods and general health vs our modern day drug companies. I know from a personal standpoint that a good Hallmark commercial or moment cry now-and-again is a form of emotional cleansing.
Why does anything from Hallmark make you so emotional? Hallmark movies are designed to make us cry, even if we don’t identify with them. I think every marketing/advertising student should be required to study Hallmark movies and their saccharin-card-giving-commercials. When people look forward to the commercials during a television movie or program, you know you’re doing something right. Romance is honest and makes you think about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else. I know I am a better person when I let myself have the time for romance and for love. I thought there were very few of us out there until last year I met Jane Tunks of the Christmas House on Nelson Street in Carleton Place.

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What makes people collect things? The most common reason is that they like the items they collect, and get pleasure from it. At Christmas there may be other reasons for collecting, such as gathering ornaments as keepsakes for your children or grandchildren. Things that bring back memories of wonderful people and wonderful times.  Life is full of memories worth saving if you think about it. Jane Tunks and her family love Christmas and that is why they collect. Honestly, you would have to go to dozens of homes to see a collection like this Carleton Place family has.

In a world where there is so much sadness and so much to be afraid of, good things do happen to people. We haven’t lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, “out-of-date” art forms like watching Hallmark movies and collecting Christmas ornaments are taking on new importance. Romance will always be something we can find, even if we’re not consciously looking for it. Join the Carleton Place Hospital Foundation Christmas House Tour and feel the love at the Tunk’s family home. After all, it’s the house with a heart.

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Organizer Jane Tunks will artfully squeeze more than two dozen trees into her own home for the tour.CHRIS MIKULA / OTTAWA CITIZEN

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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