Sandra Phinney holds a mysterious gold-coloured “thing” in her hand on Christmas morning, puzzling over what it can be. Parents play a game with their children where they leave candy canes and little elf hats in the snow near their home. In Budge Wilson’s “The Imperfect Perfect Christmas,” December 24 finds young Andrea Doucette feeling none of the holiday spirit as she ponders what sort of Christmas they will have this year. Janice Landry recalls the dollhouse her father Basil made for his granddaughter one special Christmas. Patrick O’Flaherty describes the hardships of a Newfoundland fisherman facing a difficult season in a hard, unforgiving landscape. And Farley Mowat tells us what snow means to people around the world: “settling in great flakes on a calm night over a vast city” or “slanting swiftly down across a cluster of tents huddled below a rock ridge on the arctic tundra.”
In this eclectic collection of both fiction and non-fiction, adult and children’s stories, writers from around the Atlantic Provinces describe Christmas and winter experiences – experiences that are both challenging and heartwarming, funny and serious, ridiculous and sublime. Readers of varied ages will enjoy the thrill of receiving an orange from Portugal in Hugh MacLennan’s classic tale, the pathos of a lame boy who knows the true meaning of Christmas in an excerpt from Steven Laffoley’s A Halifax Christmas Carol, Sharon and Mary O’Hara’s childhood excitement of anticipating Santa from their home on the remote and fabled Sable Island. Mi’kmaw educator and advisor Theresa Meuse describes the ways in which the Mi’kmaq celebrate the season, both as Indigenous Peoples and as practicing Catholics. And Lindsay Ruck recalls the Christmas of 1991, when her repurposing of ordinary (and some might say throw-away) items for holiday gifts was at its zenith.
Down Home for Christmas offers a rich tapestry of seasonal stories from some of Pottersfield Press’s most talented and beloved authors and is sure to touch both those who love Christmas and those who enjoy the entire winter season in our rugged Down East region.