Tag Archives: Holidays

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 2017

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 2017


My two hearts- Granddaughters Tenley age 2.5 and Sophia age 3.5. Next year there will be a third face in the photo. Photo by Stephanie Seccaspina

In December of 2006 I was in Berkeley, California and this little story was a feature in many publications, but years have gone by, so I have edited it. A lot happens with your writing in 11 years.:)

Dec. 14th, 2006 at 6:49 PM– Searching for Goodwill Among Men and Women

It’s pouring rain as I walk around the downtown in Oakland and there seems to be just no mention of Christmas anywhere. No tree or lights–not even a garland, just an over abundance of Peking Ducks hanging in the window due to the pouring rain and few customers.


St. Mary’s Church on San Pablo Ave. in Oakland, California

The Salvation Army has a Seasons Greeting sign and some Christmas dolls in the window, that’s it. St. Mary’s Church on San Pablo Ave. has over 100 crosses on their front lawn now. I try and count them as I wait for the light. Each one represents someone who died a violent death in Oakland this year. These people were not killed by terrorists, nor cowboys from Nevada. They were killed over drugs, and killed by brothers and sisters, neighbours and old friends.

I decide to take a hike over to San Francisco and give my seasonal wishes to Alan at Goodwill on Mission Street. He tells me the employee Christmas party is tomorrow night and they had to take the tree down as someone complained, and it’s now called the Holiday Party.

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The Castro in San Francisco

On the other hand, all of the Castro district has Christmas trees and one heck of a festive spirit. Windows are beautiful, and even the Pottery Barn has a tree in the window. The cookie shops have their doors open and it smells like home which I miss. I walk slowly and savour each window. Glancing over my shoulder I catch a glimpse of Twin Peaks which is covered in fog, but I can still see sparkling lights all the way up the street.

When I arrive at the record store I find out it doesn’t open up for another 15 minutes so I stand in a doorway to stay out of the rain. My hair is soaking, I look like heck, and I have a cart. A man goes by me, hands me a dollar, and tells me to stay dry. I begin to laugh as he thinks I’m homeless. I thank him anyways.

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The last year the Christmas lights went up on our home before my late husband Angelo shown here with our dog Axel passed away. Miss them both. Read —The Story Behind the Christmas Lights on Stonewood Drive— and–In Memory of The Man Who Loved Christmas

So what happened through the years? Did I miss something? Where has the love gone? Was it stolen by the partridge in the pear tree? Did the Grinch hide it? In reality it’s not the icon of the Christmas tree, nor the decorations that I seek, it’s the love, the warmth, and the fellowship.

I make my way back to the subway and hand the dollar I got from the man in the Castro to a very wet homeless man and give him a hug. He smiles and says,

“Merry Christmas Mam” 
“By the way if you have time we are all going to be sitting in front of Carl’s Jr. tonight”

I laugh at the homeless reference once again and give him the biggest hug I can muster.

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Ange’s last Christmas 2013 and our sons: Schuyleur (Skyler) and Perry. He passed away barely two months later in February of 2014.

In the end I realize that Christmas for some,has basically become just a day most people get presents, even though it’s not supposed to be that way. The season is supposed to be about celebrating what you believe in and family. It’s about loving and sharing, and hopefully keeping those same thoughts in motion for the rest of the year.  We all must remember that the love that he or she gives freely is always there– you just have to stop and listen.

It’s there– trust me– pass it on.


Tenley and Sophia 2017- Photo by Stephanie Seccaspina–Perfect balance– One to moon the world to not take itself so seriously and the other to make sure she doesn’t moon too much.


The man in my life who gives love freely and keeps me sane and puts up with all this writing I do daily. I don’t know what I would do without him–Steve Yaver. My neighbour and friend Jennifer Fenwick Irwin. 


I wish I could tell you how I got into writing and how history has literally taken over my life. I know a small bout of depression was the beginning, but I have figured out it was always somewhere inside of me. After blogging about this and that for 10 years, all of a sudden world politics and rants became lower in interest on the food chain. Knowing about the local past of the Lanark, Ontario population and the Eastern Townships in Quebec became more important to me, and quite honestly an obsession.

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Was it my beloved teacher from Cowansville High School the late great Miss Phelps who named me the recipient of the top award for art honours in Grade 6 even though I can only draw stick figures? What did she see in me? Does creativity count for that much? Was it something I caught from her?

Or, was it from Jimmy Manson—ooops, now known as Jim Manson, who I won the Twist contest with in Grade 5 at Cowansville High School in Quebec? We all know Jim became an iconic history genius teaching at Bishop’s University etc. and was mentored by Miss Phelps. He is now a prominent figure representing Eastern Townships history and also a Brome County Historical Society lecturer among other things.

Small acts of words when shared by many people can transform the world. If we as a community don’t step up to help each other — then who will? My greatest achievement in life is recording community history about the citizens who made it what it is and was. We rise by lifting others.

Whatever you celebrate–enjoy– and from me–Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and the best of the season. Just like Sophia and Tenley– let those feelings go!

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


The Story Behind the Christmas Lights on Stonewood Drive

In Memory of The Man Who Loved Christmas

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:) 2016


Hometown News 2017

What Becomes of a Broken Heart?

And Suddenly I Became Sad for NO Reason at All….

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina– Heart Disease, Anger and Gnomes

Survivor’s Guilt —Set Adrift on a Memory Bliss

I Had a Stroke – I Didn’t Break My Leg!

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I Never Met a Fruitcake I Liked

I Never Met a Fruitcake I Liked


Photo- Linda Seccaspina

I swear my Grandmother Knight made 40 pounds of fruitcake for Christmas every year. She always gave them to friends and family, and last I heard no one had ever made a doorstop out of them. My Grandmother’s fruitcakes were amazing– or so the people of Cowansville said– I just never touched them. The fruitcake and I never shared an ounce of chemistry, and still don’t.

Some of the South Street neighbours said her fruitcakes were dense, “powerful” creations with candied red and green cherries, pineapple, raisins, spices and walnuts. While Grampy and I watched Lawrence Welk the first Saturday night of November Mary Louise Deller Knight was stuffing fruits and nuts down the mouth of her meat grinder. Then the mixture, which seemed to have its own heartbeat at this point, was poured into loaf pans.

The best part of the recipe according to my Grandfather was the “soaking of the cakes” in powerful bourbon and wrapped in cheesecloth for a week, or was it three? No one was really counting, and I was always fearful that someone was going to strike a match in the basement near those fruitcakes and we would all be goners. By Christmas they were nicely ‘pickled,’ –able to survive quite a lot, and even be around Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones long after everything else disappears post-apocalypse.

Fruitcake seems to be one of those foods that you really, really love, or you really, really hate. Did you know fruitcake can age 25 years and still be eaten as long as it contains the proper preservatives and is stored in an airtight container? Do you believe that? I am  personally having trouble with that information. Would this be Fruitcake Fake News?

In 1983 author Russell Baker wrote an article claiming to be in possession of a fruitcake that a long-dead relative had baked in 1794 as a Christmas gift for President George Washington. As the story goes the president allegedly sent it back with a note explaining that it was “unseemly for Presidents to accept gifts weighing more than 80 pounds, even though they were only eight inches in diameter.” Still, the strangest element of the story was yet to come: Baker and his relatives were still gathering each year to saw off a tiny morsel of the fruitcake that they would then divide and enjoy.  Had it by this time turned into a feral fruitcake?

So, should we be friends with fruitcake?  I know by this point you might be a tad curious to what my Grandmother’s recipe was. Heck, you might even want her fruitcake recipe. Unfortunately, my mouth is zipped tight! In fact I am not allowed to divulge her recipe, as sadly, those are the terms of the contract the family signed with the concrete block firm.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)



Your Grandmother’s 1927 Wesson Fruitcake Recipe

Would You Eat Preserves After 40 Years? 150 Years?


Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1

Dreams Behind Closed Doors?






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Horses with No Names- The People’s Father Christmas



A few years ago I met Jeff at the bus stop on Sacramento Street in Berkeley. The bus was late once again and he talked non stop while we were waiting. He droned on about this and that and then he blurted out that I reminded him of the women that were in the classic “masters” paintings. What it really boiled down to was that I have flowing hair and that I was “zaftig”. Now that can either mean deliciously plump or you carry your weight well. I will gratefully accept the latter.

I also learned that he had once been a radical and was heavily involved in the hippie movement in the 60’s. He loved to talk about People’s Park in Berkeley and how they used to go there at night and recite poetry while the drummers would inspire people to dance. It was pure freedom he said until one night the University of California put a fence up around the park at 4:30 am to keep everyone out. He told me that their mission became to keep the park open and he along with others would take wire cutters and tear the fences down repeatedly.
Jeff said in their naive minds they honestly thought they had won until the National Guard showed up everyday, growing in numbers until the total reached three thousand. As he spoke he almost broke into tears and then his eyes became consumed with anger and he uttered one word. That word was simply Reagan.

At that point in my life I was a part time hippie in Montreal, Quebec and did not know much about Reagan. I was too busy ironing my hair and spreading love and flowers on weekends. Linda knew absolutely nothing of what was going on in People’s Park and was getting into enough trouble protesting herself.

Jeff continued to tell me that he had participated in the protest on May 15th, 1969 and that the Police had opened fire on them as soon as they started marching down the street. He was one of the thirty people that suffered a gunshot wound that day.

I thought back and saw myself with a protest sign in the 60s at Place Ville Marie in Montreal and people asking me if I was from San Francisco. Was I really helping the movement while over one hundred people got injured that day? I did not get hit with a club, nor was I tear gassed. All people did was take pictures of me and I now felt like a pacifist.

I was really hanging on to the edge of each word now and asked him what happened next. The next day he told me there was a planned riot that even the police knew about. Jeff felt that it was a no win situation and he opted out and became part of the woodwork. He decided to get a teaching degree, dabble in drugs and try to discover the secret of the Universe. Didn’t we all?

For thirty five years he forgot his hippie ways until a heart attack knocked on his door in 2005. After that he said he needed to make his final mark in life. There were wars to protest but no one was listening he sighed. So he decided to become Father Christmas not just for the month of December but for every day of the year.

I had not seen Jeff in a long while and one day last week there he was in full Christmas glory walking down the street. He sported a black top hat with a rainbow ribbon around it. His white sweatshirt with multiple Santas simply said “Ho Ho Ho”. Jeff’s beard and hair were also longer than I remembered. I laughed as he gave me a hug and asked him jokingly if he was Santa now. He looked at me seriously and said,

“How did you know that?

I giggled and said it was not hard by his Christmas inspired outfit. He told me of the heart attack and wanting to have some meaning in his life before he hit the final commune in the sky. Jeff mentioned the senior residence he lived in now and told me about the elderly people living in there all alone. He looked me straight in the eye and told me he had decided to make people smile and he would forever now be Father Christmas until he died.

I looked at him and understood. I smile and talk to strangers every day whether they want the greetings or not. Both of us feel we have a purpose in life and come hell or high water we are going to execute it. Jeff looked at me, smiled and tipped his hat. He looked at me straight in the eye and said,

“Linda, as Father Christmas I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and you must continue to pass this message on.”

So to each one of you I wish you happiness and peace. You see People’s Park still exists and protesters like Jeff helped keep that park open. It was all about being able to remain free in thought and word, and that is something we should never take for granted.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Father Christmas and his elf named Linda.

Back in 2006 We Had Train Tracks for the Holiday Train


The Holiday Train is Coming!!! Help Support the Food Bank!

18th edition of the CP Holiday Train ready to support communities and raise awareness


Joann Voyce sent me these photos when the Holiday Train came to Carleton Place in 2006











The locomotive engineers on the Canadian Pacific ask for $3.50 per day. They are receiving $2.30. The C. P. R. is importing a Harvard man to write descriptive articles of the scenery and sport of their road. Couldn’t a native have been got for the job ? February 1887 Lanark County

Related reading…

The Mystery Streets of Carleton Place– Where was the First Train Station?

Memories of When Rail was King- Carleton Place

Train Accident? Five Bucks and a Free Lunch in Carleton Place Should Settle it

Remembering the Carleton Place CPR Gardens

The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage


A Holiday Wrap Up for the New Year



Photo-Gary Wallet- my late sister Robin Knight Nutbrown- Sheila Wallet and me- Linda Knight Seccaspina– 1950s Cowansville, Quebec.

The holiday’s are over. Another year, a few more pounds, and an extra bag or two for the garbage man.

Do you think the present generation will ever realize that Christmas doesn’t come in stores, and maybe it should mean more to them? I wonder some days what kind of holiday traditions our future generations will have, and whether it will involve an app?

How many of the younger set watched It’s a Wonderful Life or listened to Bing Crosby sing White Christmas with tears in their eyes? Do they relate more to One Direction or Ariana Grande singing festive songs? In reality, do some of them pretend to enjoy our Christmas past just to humour us? The holidays triggers happy childhood memories for myself and others, but is it really just recalling that warm feeling of nostalgia?

Everything used to happen for a reason during the holidays, like the smell of Christmas food being made in the kitchen. Even if our past was far less rosy than the generations today, I really believe we created positive memories that lasted.

It used to be a time when people actually mailed Christmas cards, and our local post offices really mattered. All Dad had to do to get a happy smile from mom was to buy her a new toaster or coffee maker. Dad always pretended to be thrilled with his brand new tie or that bottle of Old Spice.

Of course many times during the period the Christmas tree was up (until Epiphany) you would hear him occasionally curse quietly when one of the Christmas tree bulbs would burn out making that entire strand unusable. There were the Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments and the icicles that were supposed to make your tree look like it was covered in icicles. In my mind it always looked like the hairball Grammy’s cat Muffy had just coughed up after eating a lot of the tinsel.

No matter how hard I tried, my paper snowflakes never looked like anyone else’s snowflakes. My Grandmother would always tell me to remember not all snowflakes were the same just like people. She would then hand me a recently purchased Avon Advent Calendar to count the days and add on the never needed pounds. But, she always bought extra boxes of Ivory Snow, and we would open them to find the free Christmas ornaments to place on the tree next to some creepy Santa decoration she always seemed to collect.

Baking cookies for various social events was a wonderful time and I was always next to her like glue to help clean up, and of course eat the leftover cookie dough. Her Christmas cookies were beautiful and perfect, while my roughly cut out cookies looked like they had been executed in some gangland style cookie execution.

In 1957 my Father finally realized he would never have a son and bought both his girls a train set from the Eaton’s Catalogue. I remember knowing the set had cost a great deal of money, but I was more interested in the box of Life Savers that was in my stocking than something Dad had in reality had bought for himself.


My mother had bought him a Johnny Cash record album that same year and I remember my father setting up the train set that was eventually going to become a dust collector singing the song Folsom Prison Blues with his own lyrics:

“I shot a man in Reno, so I could buy my daughters a Lionel Train Set”.

The memory I will most remember is that Christmas was not so much opening up presents, but in opening our hearts and being with family. The holidays seemed to be the time that held the rest of time and our past together and unlike apps, it never needed time to load.

It’s a new year now- instead of resolutions- let’s keep the holiday spirit up all year long.


Memories of an Eaton’s Catalogue Christmas at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum ends on January 11th


Dolly, Dickens and Doggies —Episode 2— Carleton Place’s Favourite Things


Find out all about your Holiday events on the Carleton Place Social Scene. Thanks Lisa Strangway



Bring your friends, sisters, mothers and daughters, and head down to Downtown Carleton Place on November 19th for Sales, Prizes, Refreshments, a Fashion Show and Fun!

at 1:00pm8:00pm
Shop and Dine in Downtown Carleton Place!
Paint With Janet
Wednesday, November 18–at 6:00pm in EST

Come out and eat, paint, be merry and help a local family in need. This helpful fella will be painted with palette knives so you will learn some new painting techniques.

$60 includes an amazing entree from Slackoni’s and then after dinner we paint (beverages extra). Proceeds go to the Barrie foundation

Dinner at 6pm and we should be finished painting by 9:30pm

Slackoni’s Fine Italian Cuisine
35 Mill Street, Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 1T6

carleton placesanta

A Whoville Christmas –  Carleton Place 2015 Santa Claus Parade

Saturday November 28th 5 pm— FACEBOOK PAGE


A Message from Kory Earle of People First of Lanark County

Dear: Friends, Community Members, Business, Organizations, Families and Politicians,

People First of Lanark County is once again hosting a Christmas Day Dinner for the community. Our Christmas Day Dinner will take place at the Carleton Place Legion, from 11a.m. until 4:00p.m.

It takes a lot of generosity from the community to put this dinner on. We are asking for your help with the following items:
Turkey, Stuffing, Ham, Gravy ,Carrots, Brussel sprouts, Corn, Potatoes, Rolls, Butter, Pickles, Cranberry sauce, Pies for dessert (or) , Cake for dessert, Coffee / tea, Juice / water / pop, or any toys for the Children, Mitts for everyone
If you are donating a Cheque, Please make it payable to- People First of Lanark County.

All donations will be accepted until December 18, 2015, As this will give us time to prepare for our annual Christmas Day Event!
If you are interested in donating or helping out, Please call me at- (613) 451-0051
Thank you,
Kory Earle

 E-mail: koryearle@hotmail.com


Christmas is coming! We are looking for candid photos of your Christmas celebrations in Carleton Place. If you’d like to share your photos from the past with us please email them to cpbheritagemuseum@bellnet.ca . Thank you!

My Favourite Christmas Movies– A Smoky Mountain Christmas with Dolly Parton

Stories I Love You Should Read Again…


 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first released on 19 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge’s ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. With A Christmas Carol, Dickens hoped to illustrate how self-serving, insensitive people can be converted into charitable, caring, and socially conscious members of society. With each Ghost’s tale functioning as a parable, A Christmas Carol advances the Christian moral ideals associated with Christmas—generosity, kindness, and universal love for your community.

Favourite Cookie– Christmas Sugar Cookies from one of my faves— The Gooseberry Patch

Submitted by: Kris Kellis from Salisbury, NC
Originally shared on the web 07/31/2012

1/3 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. shortening
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 T. milk
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cover and chill dough for 3 hours. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness; cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes, or until golden. Makes 2 dozen.

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Carleton Place’s Favourite Things– If Oprah can do it we can too!!.. Each blog will have something different.

Seen at the IDA in the Carleton Place Mews

What is more Canadian than Laura Secord candy as a gift. 

In 1913, Frank P. O’Connor opened a small candy store in Toronto where he sold hand-made chocolates. He named his store after Laura Secord, the Canadian heroine who was a symbol of courage, devotion, and loyalty.

Laura Secord began as a single shop on Yonge Street in Toronto. O’Connor turned the flat above the shop into a kitchen and prepared his own products. Success prompted the company’s expansion across Ontario and Quebec. In the 1930s, an office was opened in Winnipeg and pharmacies began carrying Laura Secord products.

By 1950, there were as many as 96 shops in Ontario and Quebec, and Laura Secord chocolate was a well-established family tradition. Starting in the late 1960s, ownership of Laura Secord changed on several occasions. As of February 2010, Laura Secord is owned by Jean and Jacques Leclerc, two Quebec businessmen. The current owners belong to a family with over a century of experience in the food-processing industry. Together, the two businessmen possess close to 60 years of industry experience. Laura Secord continues to use its time-honoured recipes and is as dedicated to quality and excellent customer service as ever. Every product comes with an unconditional guarantee of quality.

As for the monkey hat– well I really think that is a hoot..:) Everyone should have one.:)




Seen at Natural Pet Foods on Bridge Street in Carleton Place –artwork for both pets and their humans! Would make a great gift for others and maybe yourself? 🙂

Natual Pet Foods

61 Bridge St, Carleton Place, ON K7C 2V2
(613) 253-7387


Favourite Holiday Songs –Sugar Plum Fairy

Related Reading

Rockin’ Around Carleton Place — Episode 1— Carleton Place’s Favourite Things

The House That Rose Out of the Embers —- Carleton Place Hospital Foundation Christmas House Tour

Rockin’ Around Carleton Place — Episode 1— Carleton Place’s Favourite Things


Well we did the Halloween blog on an almost daily basis so it is time for holiday cheer and what-nots. So let’s start the weekend right..


Find out all about your Holiday events on the Carleton Place Social Scene. Thanks Lisa Strangway




Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.—Dr. Seuss

This weekend celebrate tradition and bring the family. Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.– Come feel the love at Jame’s Holiday Bazaar in Carleton Place.





Finders Keepers? It’s happening this Saturday at the Canoe Club. This is the third year that Monika Henry brings a European flair to local craft shows. Henry’s thoughts is that a trunk or suitcase must be the integral part of the vendor’s display, which is a popular theme in Europe. She was an exchange student in high school, from Switzerland, and married a local boy (Joe Henry – of Kingfish Pumping).  Four & Twenty Blackbirds is her business name, and she creates all kinds of fabric awesomeness, mostly for babies (bibs, burp cloths, soother tethers, etc.) A One-of-a-Kind-Find Craft Show in Carleton Place.

Saturday, November 14at 10:00am – 3:00pm in EST

Carleton Place Canoe Club



Christmas is coming! We are looking for candid photos of your Christmas celebrations in Carleton Place. If you’d like to share your photos from the past with us please email them to cpbheritagemuseum@bellnet.ca . Thank you!

My Favourite Hallmark Movies


Stories I Love You Should Read Again…

My kids know how much I love this story.

2 The Little Match Girl – Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet noted for his children’s stories. During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films. Originally published as part of Andersen’s fifth volume of Fairy Tales in 1848, The Little Match Girl is an original Andersen story inspired by a Johan Thomas Lundbye drawing and loosely based on an incident that happened to Andersen’s mother when she was a child. Written nine years after Andersen’s friend and colleague Charles Dickens finished Oliver Twist, The Little Match Girl shed a light on a very oppressed and silent group in Europe — its children.


Favourite Cookie (that would be yesterday’s story The Ginger Snap)


The Invincible Ginger Snap Cookies of Carleton Place




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Carleton Place’s Favourite Things– If Oprah can do it we can too!!.. Each blog will have something different.




Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office



Holiday Cards Send as late as Holiday Packages Send as late as
Local Delivery December 21 Priority December 23
Within Province December 18 Xpresspost™ December 22
Outside Province December 17 Regular Parcel™ December 11




Baby, it’s Cold Outside!

SnowStoppers® Kid’s Mittens

Winter- hot cocoa, snowfalkes and mittens

Kids stay warmer and play longer with SnowStoppers® Kid’s Mittens The patented Extra-Long Cuff is what makes the difference!

“I originally purchased two pairs of the mittens three years ago and they are still going strong!!! Both my kids have grown out of theirs but I am now passing the older child’s to the youngest and now I’m going to order new ones for my oldest: ) I will always have my kids wear these it protects their wrists and arms from the snow. Best mittens/gloves ever!”

Apple Cheeks
53 Bridge Street
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 451-2769


My Favourite Song


Say Something Nice to Me



Father David Andrew of the St. James Anglican church in Carleton Place posted the above image on his Facebook page last week. I think it just about said everything to me.

It’s that time of year again when many engage in an annual ritual that recycles arguments whether people should say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas to one another. In fact I had to tell my American friend when she visited here last year not to get hot and bothered if some Canadian greeted her with a “Merry Christmas” which they did in droves.

It baffles my mind how everyone debates a festive greeting. There are no negative feelings or hate behind any of these greetings, yet people get offended. Sometimes I hesitate to say anything for fear the greeting I choose will be taken as a political statement of some sort. Well done, people! I just don’t get it.

Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents, and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of pagan rituals. Apparently, Jesus was born in January and the tree was also taken from the pagans. My Grandmother always insisted on baking a birthday cake for Jesus every Christmas. Of course her Saviour preferred a chocolate Snowman-shaped cake.

In Malaysia, an officially Muslim country, mall displays in Kuala Lumpur make any American Christmas display look dull. The Japanese eat Christmas cake and line up to get their Christmas meal from KFC. You can love Christmas without religion as it’s all about perspective. If Christmas is about Jesus to you, that’s just fine. I was born Jewish, but raised Christian, but still light candles for Hanukkah. For others it’s about family, decorations, and what not.

If someone says Merry Christmas to a person that doesn’t celebrate they can kindly correct them or simply reply with Happy Holidays. It’s not meant to be offensive, people shouldn’t take it that way. Honestly, there’s no wrong way to do a holiday based on a Coca Cola marketing campaign.