Tag Archives: Christmas

All We Need is a Little Bit of Love — Christmas 2021

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All We Need is a Little Bit of Love — Christmas 2021

I can’t remember how old I was when I began to watch Charlie Brown Christmas programs. All I know is at the age of 70 I can still quote a lot of the text from the TV shows with tears in my eyes, and now my grandkids watch them.

Charlie Brown reminds me of a lot of friends I walked through life with. They were never sure which road to take, and then when they did, they still questioned it.

However, Pig-Pen didn’t care if anyone brought him down because of his constant lingering smell and trailing dust. Each Christmas Pig-Pen reaffirmed that:

It is OK if you just don’t smell right some days.

It is OK to sit around with dirty hair and pyjamas, too.

It is OK to be silent and OK to be not.

It is OK to not join a crowd.

It is OK to treat your home like a dust magnet sometimes.

It is OK to drag some of your perpetually messy past life around as long as it just becomes a pile of dust behind you.

What if today we didn’t get our tinsel in a tangle and we were just grateful for everything this Christmas?

Stop looking up at the sky and eating those December snowflakes. Remember how great life can be during the holidays, and maybe just save them for January.

LINDA SECCASPINA
CARLETON PLACE
(Thankfulness is always a virtue.)

Published in the Ottawa Sun in 2017

and with that I end this Linda Style– let’s dance

Aggie Yuill Remembers Christmas and the Yuill French Loaf

Christmas Toys of the 50s– Saddle Up! Saddle Up ! Kenner’s Daddy Saddle –Fits Any Daddy!

Christmas Rations and Food — Christmas 1942

Almonte’s Methodist Christmas 1893

Somehow Christmas Always Finds Me

The Story of Trenches –Fred Knight Legion Branch #99 Cowansville

Linda’s Christmas Letter 2020

Almonte Christmas Concert 1900 DuGald Campbell

When Santa Came to the O’Brien Theatre 1948

Pakenham Santa Claus “Chicken Pox” Parade — Wall Street Journal

I Saw Santa…..

Lanark County Santa Letters 1918

Aggie Yuill Remembers Christmas and the Yuill French Loaf

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Aggie Yuill Remembers Christmas and the Yuill French Loaf

Conversations with Agatha Yuill –The Buchanan Scrapbook

Walter Mather Yuill — Died at age 28
The Robbing of the Honey Pot- Andrew Cochrane Ramsay Yuill
Clippings of Mrs. Joseph Yuill – Margaret Yuill
Ralph and Iris Yuill
The Hart Children of Lanark — Laurie Yuill

Notes on Alexander and Joseph Yuill
Mrs. Joseph Yuill of Ramsay Makes Butter
Middleville Photos — Laurie Yuill

Turning Back to the Clock Agnes “Aggie” Yuill– The Buchanan Scrapbook

Archie Yuill –The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Remembering Isabel Yuill

Cora Munro Yuill — Arthur Yuill — For Glenda Mahoney with Love

“It Can’t be Done” Has Changed to “Who says it Can’t” A Triology

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“It Can’t be Done” Has Changed to “Who says it Can’t” A Triology

December 1950 Almonte Gazette

The will in the heart of man to do and dare is not dead nor does life get tedious, not around Appleton anyway, ’tis said. Mr. Howard Fumerton of the 11th line of Beckwith, bought a building from Mr. Elmsley of the 11th line of Ramsay and expressed a desire to move the buiding intact. So with men arid tractors, the procession started. Old Timer ‘Bete’ was noticed standing by sadly shaking his head and murmuring “It can’t be done.”

But through fields, highways and byways the moving proceeded slowly until one afternoon something happened one of the skids and the building settled down in a creek for the night. Mr. Art Fumerton came to the rescue and eventually the building was in Mr. Fumerton’s yard and he firmly believes in the Spirit of Christmas and the old saying “It can’t be done” has changed to “who says it can’t.”

December 1918 Ottawa Citizen

This letter to Santa was written by Ruby Butler from Perth, Ontario in 1918.

1918 December

Although we are facing a pandemic like they were during that year, we are not facing a war.

The armistice of November 11, 1918, brought relief to the whole world and hope to 10-year-old Ruby Butler in Perth. The Spanish flu, however, was a devastating and previously unknown form of influenza, and struck Canada hard between 1918 and 1920. This international pandemic killed approximately 55,000 people in Canada, most of whom were young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. No matter what we are going through, we have all worked together this year, and while we can’t smooth out the surf, we are all learning to ride the waves safely and carefully. As old Mr. Fumerton said in Almonte,” “It can’t be done” has changed to “who says it can’t.”

Tenley, Elia and Avery, Carleton Place 2020

What has not changed is that the children of the world are still writing to Santa amid a world that a lot of them do not understand. Yesterday my daughter in law sent me a photo of my grandchildren and their cousin sitting in front of a window where they could hang out with Santa safely. I looked at Tenley’s eyes and saw the love and belief in her eyes. Santa still exists, and while I am old enough to understand that a man cannot fly around the globe led by reindeer, I still believe in the magic. I love spreading magic because it relives our childhood memories and encourages everyone to have kindness, empathy and generosity in their hearts, especially when we need them most like now.

Like the writer of the 1918 Santa letter who did not want Santa to die I am sure the children of today have had lots of fears that they do not talk about. They probably also silently worry someone they know will contract the disease, but they remain silent. This year I chose not to remain silent. From my kitchen island I decided to spread virtually what I thought would take people’s minds off of things, and the pandemic, and make them smile. The child we once were stays with us, and I for one refuse to let it go.

This year especially; I feel there is a lot we can learn from the children we used to be. That little person still exists; you just need to listen to what he or she has to say. It’s important to learn from experience, to change and become a better person. But, what most people seem to think is in order to do so, we must leave our old selves behind– and that is wrong. The easiest thing in the world was having fun as a child because even the littlest things made us happy. They still can.

If there is one thing you ought to try and hold on to for this year and next year– it’s this: Be happy, have fun with the simplest of things, enjoy life, and find hope in even the most dire circumstances — you’ll find the strength to accomplish things others wouldn’t believe possible.

For a day take a step back and revert to olden days when crazy cartoons and bowls of sugary cereal felt like living the dream. Laugh every day, love yourself like children do, be kind, considerate, and compassionate. Each New Year gives us the perfect chance to start something new and fresh. Just make the world a better place for yourself and others. Make someone happy….

As old Mr. Fumerton said in Almonte,” “It can’t be done” has changed to “who says it can’t.”

Temley age 6, Linda me, Elia age 3, Sophia age 7 and Baby R (another girl) coming any day now!!

Times Of Love and Dreams to Share

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Times Of Love and Dreams to Share

2015

It is December 15th, almost a week before Christmas, and you would never know it. I wrote a piece a few years ago called “Searching For Christmas” and it seems, as the years go by, it disappears more and more. The Martha Stewart Christmas CD plays for the umpteenth time, and after 17 Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel I just can’t watch another. Or can I?


I had something happen to me a few years ago that was life altering. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it, and it has literally changed my perspective on life. It was almost like learning there was no Santa Claus when I was a child. That innocence that reinforced the goodness of mankind suddenly vanished. So, I sit here and ask myself, how many Christmases do I have left? What if I had not lived, and missed Christmas that year? Well, I did live, and Christmas is almost around the corner.

So I try to snap out of this funk and remember. I remember the smell of Christmas trees and their sharp pine pungent scent, and the smell of home baking in the air. To be honest, the last years of my childhood Christmases were not spent smelling a fresh evergreen tree. It was gazing at the latest model of Sears “best in the line ” decorator trees in my Grandmother’s living room. I remember the delicate fragile glass ornaments that belonged to years gone by and the blue lights on the tree.

I can still hear Miss Watson playing the church organ next to the Chrismtas tree at Trinity Anglican Church, which also shone with blue lights. I felt like it was something that was decided upon one Altar Guild Day in one fell swoop of a pact.  Can I still hear these women talking with their glasses perched on their noses and fluffing their short tight perms? Did these church ladies decide that blue lights, and only blue lights, should be on a Christmas tree? I am positive that’s what happened and then they all went home and changed their lights to blue in a no nonsense way.

Memories then flood my mind of  two weeks after Christmas in 1995 when my sons and I stood on top of a water- soaked carpet looking sadly at a completely black Christmas tree. Staring at the remainder of a horrible fire that burned everything the day before, my oldest son wondered if his purchase of one small TY Beanie Baby monkey started the fire that turned our lives upside down for over a year. He is very much like his mother. We dwell on things and don’t give them up. We are good at that.

But Christmas went on the next year and no one was a Negative Nancy. We still watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas and baked cookies and hung up stockings and I still left small presents on the door steps of the elderly. So what to do? How do I get out of this Downer Dan mood? I decided to make  Butter Tarts–now that would make me feel festive.


Twenty minutes later after listening to Loreena McKennitt singing “Good King Wenceslas” for the umpteenth time, I take the tarts from the oven. They smell wonderful and I know they will be enjoyed. I turn the Martha Stewart Christmas CD off and file it away, not to be played for… let’s say…at least a day. Charlie Brown’s Christmas by Vince Guaraldi fills the air and I dance. I realize the holidays are what you make out of it and not to expect anyone to drop the Holiday spirit outside your bathroom door– because it just isn’t going to happen. Christmas just isn’t a season–it’s a feeling sometimes being torn for the familiar and just a chance to feel old feelings twice. If kisses were snowflakes I would send each and everyone of you a blizzard.

When Santa Came to the O’Brien Theatre 1948

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When Santa Came to the O’Brien Theatre 1948
photo- almonte.com

Santa Claus arrived in Almonte Thursday afternoon, Dec. 23rd, but he came by sleigh and not on the train as expected. It had been advertised that the old boy would be aboard the 3.45 east bound Pembroke local but this train was late owing to a mishap near Pembroke. After Santa waited for quite a while at Blakeney, where he had no doubt been distributing presents, it was decided to bring him into town in a cutter. There was nothing very unusual about this mode of conveyance for Santa Claus except that the vehicle was drawn by a horse instead of the reindeer he uses when on his Arctic travels.

When Santa alighted from the sleigh it was found he had been accompanied from the North Pole by his wife. Some of the youngsters seemed to detect a likeness between Santa and someone they had seen around town before and the same went for Mrs. Santa. But, be that as it may, the two got a great reception in front of the O’Brien from a vast throng of children who had been waiting impatiently for some time for their arrival.

A special welcome was extended to Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus by Mayor Alex. McDonald and by Mr. Karl Paupst, head of the Lions Club which sponsored the entertainment for the children and the visit of St. Nicholas and his jolly lady. A parade was formed according to schedule and was led by the distinguished visitors in their horse and cutter. It proceeded through the main streets of the town and was made up of floats decorated along Christmas lines; the Citizens’ Band providing music and a group of Mrs. R. G. Kenny’s pupils on a truck singing carols.

On returning to the O’Brien Theatre the young folk crowded in for a free show and generous gifts of candy and oranges. Mr. R. A. Jamieson, K.C., acted as master of ceremonies for the program. Nor were children in the Rosamond Memorial Hospital forgotten. Santa Claus visited them too and presented them with gifts similar to those given out at the theatre.

Dr. J. R. Fraser was chairman of the committee in charge of the Lions Club Christmas party. Assisting him were Messrs. John Lindsay, Jam es Brown, R. A. Jamieson and Nick Carrie. There was a great deal of work entailed in the arrangements not the least of which was the packing of some 650 bags of candy. Special films had been procured for the children’s entertainment which radiated the spirit of Yuletide and Santa Claus, not to mention Mrs. Santa Claus. It is said the latter henpecks poor old Santa to beat the band during their long sojourn in an igloo near the North Pole. In fact this is so much the case that Santa is always glad when Christmas rolls around and he is able to leave her for a few weeks. But this year she was too cute for him and came along to see that he behaved himself, especially with the young ladies of this southern climate because Mrs. Santa is a very jealous gal.

Clippings and History of Mill and Bridge Street Almonte

Almonte at Night — 1946

Was John C. Howard Guilty? 76 Years Ago in Almonte

Lottie Barr’s Chips Almonte –Thanks to Allan Stanley

Seeds of Love–Almonte Cinema – Then and Now

Christmas Rations and Food — Christmas 1942

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Christmas Rations and Food — Christmas 1942

Delivery

Not withstanding the greater amount of shopping which is conducted at this period of the year, delivery restrictions remain in effect. it is pointed out by the regional office of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board, and no special concessions can or will be granted for their relaxation. 

“This Christmas will not be like the old, peaceful holiday of pre-war days,” James Stewart, administrator of Services for the Board, remarked recently. “Labor, gasoline, rubber and vehicles are vitally needed by the armed services and war industries and must be conserved.” 

Accordingly, Christmas shoppers are advised to carry as many of their parcels as they can since retailers are permitted to make only one delivery a day. This advice is given, together with a suggestion that the public shop early, to avoid an overtaxing of delivery facilities. “We have been assured,” Mr. Stewart adds, “that only those who leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute will suffer any inconvenience by reason of the delivery restrictions continuing in force.”

Meat

Fear having been expressed in some communities that farmers who have been in the habit of slaughtering livestock and selling meat to regular customers either on public markets from door to door will be prevented from doing so under the slaughtering order of the Wartime Foods Administration now points out that there is no intention whatever of interfering with this legitimate meat trade.

 Banners who engage in it are of course, required to obtain permits before they carry out slaughtering of livestock for the sale of meat to others, but as long as this trade is conducted in accordance with the regulations of the Board and there is no attempt deliberately to evade those regulations or to violate the ceiling on meat prices, they need have no fear of interference with their accustomed practice.

Farmers who have always been in the habit of selling meat to their customers on markets or elsewhere will be permitted to continue that business. They will be granted permits to carry on this trade as soon as they make application, and these permits will be in effect until such time as officers of the Board have reviewed each case and decided it upon its merits, after which new permits for continued operations will be granted. No permits are, however, needed when the farmer slaughters livestock for consumption in his own household.

December 1942- Almonte Gazette
Almonte Gazette 1942

Food Review of the Smorgasbord at The Queen’s Royal Hotel 1947

Fight Over the “Restaurant on Wheels” 1899 — The First Food Truck Fight

Remembering Milk Weed Pods and World War II

Memories of Howard Steele Carleton Place — The Buchanan Scrapbook

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Memories of Howard Steele Carleton Place — The Buchanan Scrapbook
1945-Members of the Ocean Wave Fire Department.Third from left back row is William Hurdis and the gentleman standing at the far right is Thorald Culbertson.

Judy Salley I attended a parade the next day in CP with my mother and brother.Mixed emotions but also remember Mrs Annie Bennett coming to our house in tears to tell my grandmother that Jim Bennett was missing
This series of photos of the V.E. Parade is part of a scrapbook about WWII, kept by an unknown town resident and donated to the Museum by Doreen Tuff in 1986.

Dale MoultonMy grandfather Harold Steele 2nd from right front row

Ted HurdisCorky behind Thorald ?

Les ReynoldsFront row l to r: Capt. Willard Morris, Chief Alvin Baird, Harold Steele, Elmer Johnston– Back row: Ed Beaton, Jim Griffith, ?,?,?, behind Thorvaldsen is Cecil Devlin

Brent HurdisMy grandfather beside jimmy Griffith

Mary Jean BairdFirst row second from left is fire chief ABaird. MJBaird

Heather WhitePerhaps my Uncle Howard Stanley in the back row

I know the article is about Christmas… but I wanted to document it for posterity as everyone has a story.

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Related history

107-109 Bridge Street Carleton Place–1880 ca, 1898 rebuilt fire

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Aug 1897, Fri,  Page 8

The original structure that occupied the lot was built in the early 1800’s. Originally 107-109 Bridge Street was the tin shop of Mr. Steele and the tin shop shared the premises with Wilson’s bakery in the latter part of the 19th century and the modest wood building housed the Keyes’ family shoe business and living quarters. The early tenants included Steele’s tinshop, Wilson’s Bakery, Northern Telegraph and George Keyes Boots and Shoes.The structure was destroyed by fire in the 1880’s and the current building was constructed in 1887 and it quickly become known as “The Keyes Block”.  

Larry Clark Photos Documented 1963 Parade

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Larry Clark Photos Documented 1963 Parade

All Photos- Larry Clark Carleton Place 1963

The 1960s Parade Santa- Kevin Percy

So When was the First Santa Claus Parade in Carleton Place?

A Collection of Lanark County Home Movies (parades)

It was 1967–a Centennial– Parade Slides from Wendy Healey–Armstrong Family

When You Fall Over in a Parade Float

Carleton Place Loves a Parade!

Santa Claus Parade Photos—Photography –John Rayner 2009 2015

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade Photos

Santa Claus Parade Photos–2010– 2012 2014 –Michael Gauthier-Freedom Photography

Santa Claus Parade 2015 — Photos- Bob McDonald

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade 2007

The Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade 2003

Carleton Place Christmas Parade 1987

The Night Santa Claus Came to Town – Holiday Parade Photos! 2012

Carleton Place Loves a Parade!

Photos of the Orange Parade Almonte 1963 — Name that Band?

When the Saints Marched Down Bridge Street?

When the Saints March By Howard Johnsons

What Happened to John Liddle?

More Photos and NOW Music! Memories of the Carleton Place Marching Saints

Linda’s Christmas Letter 2020

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Linda’s Christmas Letter 2020

1918 December

This letter to Santa was written by Ruby Butler from Perth, Ontario in 1918. Although we are facing a pandemic like they were during that year, we are not facing a war. The armistice of November 11, 1918, brought relief to the whole world and hope to 10-year-old Ruby Butler in Perth. The Spanish flu, however, was a devastating and previously unknown form of influenza, and struck Canada hard between 1918 and 1920. This international pandemic killed approximately 55,000 people in Canada, most of whom were young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. No matter what we are going through, we have all worked together this year, and while we can’t smooth out the surf, we are all learning to ride the waves safely and carefully.

What has not changed is that the children of the world are still writing to Santa amid a world that a lot of them do not understand. Yesterday my daughter in law sent me a photo of my grandchildren and their cousin sitting in front of a window where they could hang out with Santa safely. I looked at Tenley’s eyes and saw the love and belief in her eyes. Santa still exists, and while I am old enough to understand that a man cannot fly around the globe led by reindeer, I still believe in the magic. I love spreading magic because it relives our childhood memories and encourages everyone to have kindness, empathy and generosity in their hearts, especially when we need them most like now.

Like the writer of the 1918 Santa letter who did not want Santa to die I am sure the children of today have had lots of fears that they do not talk about. They probably also silently worry someone they know will contract the disease, but they remain silent. This year I chose not to remain silent. From my kitchen island I decided to spread virtually what I thought would take people’s minds off of things, and the pandemic, and make them smile. The child we once were stays with us, and I for one refuse to let it go.

This year especially; I feel there is a lot we can learn from the children we used to be. That little person still exists; you just need to listen to what he or she has to say. It’s important to learn from experience, to change and become a better person. But, what most people seem to think is in order to do so, we must leave our old selves behind– and that is wrong. The easiest thing in the world was having fun as a child because even the littlest things made us happy. They still can.

If there is one thing you ought to try and hold on to for this year and next year– it’s this: Be happy, have fun with the simplest of things, enjoy life, and find hope in even the most dire circumstances — you’ll find the strength to accomplish things others wouldn’t believe possible.

For a day take a step back and revert to olden days when crazy cartoons and bowls of sugary cereal felt like living the dream. Laugh every day, love yourself like children do, be kind, considerate, and compassionate. Each New Year gives us the perfect chance to start something new and fresh. Just make the world a better place for yourself and others. Make someone happy….

Thank you for reading me this year, I appreciate it, and please stay safe!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Linda

Related reading

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:) 

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:)

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 2018

Almonte Christmas Concert 1900 DuGald Campbell

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Almonte Christmas Concert 1900 DuGald Campbell

Around about 1900, when some of us were in our tender years, the annual Christmas entertainment in those days was something to write about. It was usually started some time in November, when the kids of the school were called for commencement practices for the annual affair. Such well known characters of those days who did the supervising for the church school were: Margaret McCarter (later Mrs. Flanagan), Agnes McCarter, Robida Young, Mary Anderson, Tena-and Kate Campbell, Alf. Sadler and Jack Leyden. Such youngsters as Tena and Fanny Donaldson, Meda Young, the Anderson girls, the Sheppard boys (Gordon and Oswald), and the Campbells, Duncan and Dugald.

Etta Young was taking music lessons then, and had done so well that she was able to play some of the choruses at the party. There was a downstairs basement in the old church, and for the enjoyment of the kids there had to be a Santa Claus. Well, this particular time I have in mind, Alf. Sadler had to be the Santa Claus, and he was dressed in the familiar suits at that time, a chocolate overall affair, not the modern Santa as of today. There were about eight steps coming down to the basement, and Alf. had to carry down a stuffed reindeer some of the fellows had built, horns and all. Alf. had to hide himself in the underpinning of the reindeer construction, and he was to break through in great glee once he had the contraption on the downstairs platform.

Weather conditions in Almonte were likely what they are now, clear and cold and lots of snow, but in the packed school room it was midsummer temperature, so that when Alf. came out of hiding he had to undo his hood and wipe off his fevered brow before the time came for distributing an orange and a bag of candy, mostly gum drops.

There were prizes for proficiency as well as for work done in the school. One of the big prizes was that for perfect answers to the 107 questions of the Shorter Catechism, and I remember a girl named Tena Stewart, one of the Appleton Stewarts, got the prize for this job. She was perfect, and got a fine Bible from James McLeod. Some of us lesser lights got lesser prizes. The writer got a book, “In His Steps,” for reciting some passages of Scripture. But for all round good times, not likely the kids from any of the old “red schools” roundabout had more fun than we did.

On one other occasion, part of the Christmas entertainment was a dumb bell drill by some of the girls from the high school. That was in P. C. McGregor’s days, and, while P. C. was a member of session, there was a terrific row before he got permission to put on the show. The girls were dressed in sailor costume, and it was felt that was a thoroughly unbecoming dress to fiddle around high jinking in a church hall with dumb bells. The young Campbells were ordered to vacate the place when the dumb bells were to come on, but of, course, being packed up close to the front, there was no room for getting out, and we had to suffer spiritually for a spell. However, front seat still charms some of us old fellows when a good show is to be had. I don’t suppose there is much of this kind of entertainment in Lanark County these days, but believe me it was out of this world during our tender years away back home. Mr. Andre

DuGald Campbell

When Dugald Campbell was born on May 9, 1886, in Lanark, Ontario, his father, Donald, was 48 and his mother, Christinia, was 41. he lived in Almonte in 1901. He married Sarah Garret Johnston on September 10, 1913, in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had four children during their marriage. He died on August 17, 1973, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 87, and was buried there.