Tag Archives: Christmas

Did you Know the History of the Carleton Place Arena Christmas Tree? — and other stories…

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Did you Know the History of the Carleton Place Arena Christmas Tree? — and other stories…

Photo Linda Seccaspina

“We have six to eight major Christmas events at the arena — from the town’s annual Appreciation Night to the Bowes Brothers’ holiday show,” Bob White said. “So many people get to enjoy the tree.”

The large tree, which stays up until after the new year, still has a Cook’s of Carleton Place tag attached. It will not be removed.

Read the rest of the story by Tara Gesner here… CLICK

Photo- Tara Gesner

Noreen Tyers

December 5 at 8:47 PM  · 

Cutting a Christmas Tree at the House of Old at R. R. # 4

You know when you are a city folk and you decide to move to the county, and it’s your first Christmas at the House of Old.  You know all it takes is a dusting of snow that glistens in the dark when the moon shines.  One can not imagine what thoughts goes through your mind, it’s the Christmas Season

It does not matter that the house is not new and fancy, maybe you don’t have the latest in household items.  What matters is the beauty and the serenity of the place.  If you take the time to look at your surroundings you are in awe of what the night brings.  I found I could see stars I never did in the city before.  The old Owl was sitting on the corner of the Barn that had seen better days, but this was a distant project to protect.  The Hoot from the Owl just completed the setting and life was good, he was just acknowledging our presence, he approved.

You know, I might want to call myself a bit of a romantic, but life was good, my family was with me, everyone enjoying a walk after dinner.  A discussion was happening with some very excited voices of the kids, what their first Christmas in the Country what was going to be like.  They were all excited about venturing to the Sugar Bush to cut down a fresh tree from the land where they lived. 

They were happy with the first snowfall, and our dog had been taken off his lead to walk with us at his leisure, he had to be tied as he did love to chase the neighbour’s  cattle and that was a, No, No.   You never think of the retraining of your pet, to country ways but there is, after all sort of beasts, he was not used to like porcupines, who demonstrates displeasure should he get to close.  While being tied, he was so used to the deer coming to the apple trees he did not seem to bother with them. I do have to admit the kids, maybe thought some of the deer were Santa’s Reindeer.  Every once and awhile they would speak to our dog Bow and say, don’t hurt the babies, and he never did chase them or did he harm them in any way.  He would watch as they cleaned up the falls on the ground and enjoy every morsel.  Was it magic maybe they were some of Santa’s reindeer.

From the first snowfall, the idea of Christmas was sure to generate conversation on Christmas and what it was going to be like in the countryside.  To keep our two children on track and focussed, we decided that the tree that would be cut, would have nothing but handmade decorations.  There will be a couple of exceptions and that was the old antique ornaments of my grandparents and parents tree, and they just always went on, you know one of those traditions.  In order to keep the children busy we decided that we would get them started making the Christmas Ornaments for our tree.

Well the decoration workshop got busy, and we planned what would go on the tree.  Some coloured construction paper was bought, adults cut with the scissors and the kids made the chains and glued.   An old bushel basket was placed in the Summer Kitchen to put the ornaments as they finished.  We strung popcorn and cranberries for garlands. The bits and pieces of skeins of wool was gathered to make some hanging little dolls, both boys and girls.

We had decided that we would invite the extended family for Christmas Dinner, Oh dear our Dream of an Old Fashioned Country Christmas had got slightly out of hand.  The last head count was about fourteen adults and OMG kids, about eleven of them, yes we had a place to hold that many bodies as we would be eating in the Summer Kitchen which was a big room. 

The heating for the Summer Kitchen was a big old Findlay Wood Stove, six plates and a warming closet with Lion Heads adorning the corners and a water reservoir attached to the stove. As we heated with wood in the house we did have a good supply and it was just outside in the wood shed.  No Worry, my husband always called me the wood sorcerer, as the wood furnace was my chore to keep it burning, it went out when he tried to tend it.

The food was good, everybody was bringing something, an old fashioned Pot Luck, and I did not have to do the desert–someone else had volunteered, I had Christmas Cake we made  for a treat.  We had enough Potatoes, Carrots and other things from the Garden, including summer savoury and parsley. I had made some Meat Pies (Tourtieres) and Sausage Rolls, using my Mom’s recipe, we had enough to feed an army.

As we were having a fresh tree it would be put up a week before Christmas, the Summer Kitchen was cool and that was good for the tree.  Come Saturday, the kids were out of bed at the Crack of Dawn, and were ready to go, breakfast was needed so that did slow down the pressing duty.  To watch the expressions on their face it was worth a thousand pictures.  We found a tree and it was a beauty, the only thing was it was big.  Father cut another piece off the bottom when we brought it in, and soon it was in the old pail with some water to keep it fresh, with the cut off branches used for some greenery to decorate.  The only problem was keeping the kids from decorating, right away, they just could not understand the tree needing to find its place and the branches fall into place. They did not need a lesson in a tree being frozen being outside, too much information for the situation.

It was a good thing school was still in session for a couple of days, as this put off the decorating process for another few days.  When the anticipation was at its highest peak and holding off decorating could not be extended  any longer, so the tree trimming started.  Now being as they had never decorated a tree from the start, it was hard to restrain them while Dad was placing the lights on the tree.  One could tell that this process was definitely holding them back and they were all ready to start.   

 “Is it time yet Dad, can we put some decorations on yet, please Dad”.  

 It was a parent decision to let them go ahead and we would rearrange later. Homemade star for the top, crochet decorations over Candy Canes, Some Pine Cone Elves, and the chains and the garlands are a few of the Creations that adorned our tree, and the treat  the fresh smell of evergreens.  It was a good idea to not bring out the tinsel, as the placement would have been clumpy and not one string at a time. Restraint is great in some situations and I have to admit that the tree cutting, homemade decorations, and all the elements, just did fulfill the dream of a Country Christmas in a country setting, and what a delight that we made the decision to come.

By the way the meal was delicious and the family did enjoy their experience of a Christmas in the Country.  A trip to the Sugar Bush for some, while dishes were being done was also a highlight.  The next Christmas we had our own home raised Turkeys, the taste superb, after all they were fed fresh corn and apples from the farm, along with their meal.  Each family received a turkey as part of their Christmas Gift.  Have not tasted a good wholesome turkey since leaving the House of Old.

 From the pen of Noreen, Dec 2020

Click here

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada23 Dec 1974, Mon  •  Page 2

also read-The Landmark Pine Tree in Watson’s Corners– Gloria Currie

The Christmas Tree Farm Carleton Place

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Jul 2017, Sat  •  Page 38

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada11 Dec 1984, Tue  •  Page 3

My 365 Tree

To be honest we had stopped decorating the interior of the house in a big way after the fire in 1995. Two years ago, I sucked my heart in and decorated every single room for the Carleton Place Hospital Foundation Christmas House Tour. Not everyone was behind my decision, but I had to make this effort in his memory.  I knew that the house would never again display his talents and love for the season, and wanted to do it as a tribute for his love of Christmas.

After the fire we all remembered the ravaged Christmas tree that stood in a corner, so instead, he put up a giant tree in the TV room in 1995 and bought music boxes.  That tree has stood there 365 days a year since December 1996 and will never ever come down. Read-In Memory of The Man Who Loved 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