Do you have a favorite Prairie holiday tradition? What holiday legacies are you and your family carrying on? What did you want for Christmas as a kid? Do you have a favorite holiday recipe?
We want to hear all about it.
The Flatlander is celebrating this holiday season by compiling holiday stories and traditions from across the Prairies. Tell us yours by submitting this form. We’re also providing a specially curated gift guide featuring small businesses and creators across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Shop now!
Keltie from North Battleford, SK
Joe loved Christmas. His favorite gift-giving was home-made peanut brittle nestled in gift wrap in a festive tin. To this end, he spent days preparing cookie pans and wax paper, sourcing peanuts and getting the kettles ready. Recipients of the sweet treat raved for months. Ten days before Christmas, Joe spent hours carefulling cooking peanut brittle and pouring it into cookie sheets, then left to cool on the picnic table. At long last, the table was full of steaming, translucent goodness. Two hours later, love’s labour was missing. Joe was crushed. The police later reported sightings of flying cooking pans and peanut brittle attached to the feet of several adult ravens. The cookie tins were retrieved from the roof of the administration building by the maintenance supervisor.
Denise from Regina, SK
My favourite family, holiday tradition was to drive out to Pasqua Lake at 7 AM Christmas morning. There, we met with grandparents and approximately 20 other relatives! We opened Christmas stockings together, presents together, one at a time, according to age, and ate copious amounts of pierogies, sausage, cinnamon buns, and so much more! Finishing sometimes at noon, we would recover from the mornings celebration and head back to town for another huge Christmas dinner! Always had friends join the party! Those were great times!
Keltie from North Battleford, SK
Just before Christmas 1960, my parents dragged the five of us into Blackie with the promise of hot chocolate…with marshmellows! The small town had hired a man and his trick pony to preform sketches and keep kids entertained while the adults partook of spiked eggnog. The best part was when the pony, prone on it’s back, became a “motorcycle” for the rider, with him kneeling over the pony and using the pony’s legs as gears, steering and emergency brake while telling a “road story”, engaging gears, braking for ladies and racing around Southern Alberta by upside down pony.
Of course, as soon as we got back to the farm, every two and four-legged animal was drafted by us kids to recreate the “wild ride”; chickens, turkeys, the collie, a calf, several piglets and a friendly sow. Dad drew the line at the milk cow and steers. However, Lassie, the collie, continued to entertain my sibblings with his impression of a four-legged motorbike, only asking for 5-minute belly rubs and extra kibble.
Doreen from Pinawa, MB
The one-room school house and its Christmas Concert – perhaps some readers will also remember the Eaton’s Christmas Tree Shopping Service. Read the full story here.
Liz fromWinnipeg, MB
Not sure of the emotion to place on this story. My sister and I were in grades 5 and 6, perhaps. We were not well off but I now know we weren’t poor either. Christmas meant one gift, of my parent’s choosing, and though we were 15 months apart, our gifts were always identical. That year, maybe 1956 or 1957, we both received 4’ beautiful walking dolls. Cecil Rhodes School (now named Keewatin Prairie Community School) decided to do a toy drive for northern community children after Christmas. Students were asked to bring something to give to less fortunate kids. Yes, you are right!!! We took our walking dolls, and no we didn’t ask or tell our mom first!!! Lordy was she upset!!!!! We did not get replacement gifts lol but we felt pretty ok if I remember!!!!
Bernadette from Regina, SK
When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was a big deal. We’d dress in our new outfits, get into our parkas and boots, and drive to town for the Christmas Eve Pageant at our church. Presented by the Sunday School and Confirmation classes, it featured recitations of Bible verses and Christmas carols about the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. I loved it! Some years, Mom was the organist. Other years, not, but still, we attended. The church was always packed.
After the pageant, the deacons and elders would hand out the treat bags filled with peanuts and candies, chocolates and mandarin oranges, then we’d head home. Every year, Dad would tease us about seeing Rudolph’s red nose or Santa in the sky, and we’d look, hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous man who delivered gifts to our house every year. We never did see them, of course, but sometimes pretended we did, especially when younger siblings were around.
When we got home, we raced to the living room for a peek under the tree and were called back if we hadn’t hung our coats properly. Even though Dad had again teased that there’d be coal in our stockings because we were brats, there was always something, always gifts, not always what I’d requested in my letter, but always there was something to keep me happy.