December 13 - Christmas and the Arts
Did your family attend any special events or performances during the holidays?
When I was young, we didn’t attend many big concerts or events, but we participated in Christmas plays at our church. I don’t really remember much but I think I was a little star once or twice. Later I sang in choir, so those are the concerts I remember. (I still can’t read music though.) The girls’ groups I was in did some caroling at Christmas too– Explorers and Guides.
For the longest time, I was very interested in ballet and my mum did take me to see the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas at least once. After I was twelve or so, we finally ! got a television set at home and from then on, I think, that provided our Christmas entertainment. There were always special shows at Christmas – not only movies, but Christmas news, like the arrival of aluminum Christmas trees from the United States in 1960 and also ‘specials’ from our favourite entertainers - remember Ed Sullivan and ‘Wayne and Shuster’? And, on Christmas Eve, we listened to the CBC radio reporting sightings of Santa as he travelled across the DEW line and on down south and then on Christmas Day we listened to CBC again – to hear a recitation of 'A Child's Christmas In Wales', Dylan Thomas' piece, still one of the best Christmas stories, I feel.
“Aluminum Christmas trees come to Canada”, Dec. 22, 1960, CBC Radio clips: http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-69-1010-5677-11/on_this_day/life_society/aluminum_trees
“Tracking Santa Claus”, (see the ‘Did You Know’ section for some history) Broadcast Dec. 24, 2001, CBC Television clips: http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-71-1552-10477/conflict_war/norad/clip9
For more Christmas posts, do check out the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/