Dick Hunt's Blog

December 23, 2012

An Old Fashioned Christmas (republished Dec 23, 2012)

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:40 pm

An Old Fashioned Christmas

by Dick Hunt.

My first clear memory of Christmas was in 1923 on  the Canadian Prairies.  We never worried about having snow for Christmas.  It was always white. And cold.  And busy for all who were tough enough to survive the winter weather outdoors. We hung up our stockings on the mantel and eagerly emptied them as early as the house was warmed up in the morning. Always we had nuts, an orange, some little wrapped candies, socks or stockings, mittens – practical things from T.Eaton Company in Winnipeg. All the outside work had to be done before we all sat down to “dinner”. With visitors  and hired staff, we numbered at least 22 people and sometimes more. Only when the dishes were done and the food put away did we unload the Christmas tree and open our presents.  The presents were always practical,  and the ones I treasured most were books.

Not until 1926 when the first C.N.R Trains began to roll along the branch lines between towns did we have  a Sunday service when a Minister could visit our Village.  Sometime near Christmas day, we all piled into a large sleigh, packed with straw and heated bricks rolled up in burlap sacks to warm our feet. With Dad driving a team of horses, we drove across the hills to the Village of Endiang. And we had sleighbells for music on the trail. There in the spacious home of my Aunt Nellie and Uncle Dick, we “went to Church”.  The Ministers in those  days were young, deeply committed and called to share their faith. And they were deeply appreciated.

We always had a man called Billy Mills as our guest.  He was,  in England, a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and he played our piano Christmas evening, a concert of every request from his massive collection, including all the old Christmas Hymns and Carols and we sang and sang to end the day.


  1. Dear Rev. Hunt,
    Your Blog is good; thank you for doing it.
    I have recently become aquainted with Donald Wright, a wonderful, outstanding individual.
    He is a son of Reg Wright, your Bell Tower hero, and fortuitously moved into the seniors’ residence where I now live. Your blog throws a new light on the Wrights. Thank you. And thank you for your help in many ways.
    I am 91 years old and living in a place where death is inevitably on everyone’s mind. It worries me.
    My father was also a Christian minister; Baptist. Same doctrine as Anglican; same scripture.
    If you ever happen to be in Ottawa, I hope you will come and visit us here.
    We are at Rideau Place on the River, 550 Wilbrod Street, Ottawa.
    Your stories are good – uplifting and reassuring – indeed helpful.
    I would love to hear from you.
    Rosaleen Leslie Dickson

    Comment by Rosaleen Leslie Dickson — January 20, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

  2. If you ever happen to be in Ottawa, I hope you will come and visit us here.
    We are at Rideau Place on the River, 550 Wilbrod Street, Ottawa.

    Comment by Rosaleen Leslie Dickson — January 20, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

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