I recently stopped by the CBC, and feeling festive, decided to ask some of our favourite TV personalities about holiday traditions at their house.
Don Cherry (Hockey Night in Canada): In the American Hockey League we used to play every Christmas. So we had to go to morning skates and stuff like that Christmas day, because that was a big draw. So we used to have Christmas on Christmas Eve. So we had it before all the time.
Jared Keeso (who plays Don Cherry in The Don Cherry Story): For the fathers out there, the one thing my dad did for my brother and sister and I, is on Christmas morning he'd hide our presents and leave little notes with riddles for us, so we'd have a hunt figuring out these riddles and trying to find the next clue and our presents. It was just so much fun.
Patty Sullivan (CBC Kids): Favourite Tradition? The family reads 'Twas The Night Before Christmas by the fire on Christmas Eve.
Erica Johnson (Marketplace): What can I share? I have the Elf on a Shelf, where the elf moves around the house and every day it has a message for my daughter. It'll say things like 'you played really nicely today so you get chocolate chip cookies in your lunch.' Or like that. And every day she's always looking for the elf, so that's fun. And it goes from the 1st right till Christmas. And then her dad is Jewish so she gets all the Hanukkah stuff too, so she's working December.
Tom Harrington (Marketplace): My wife is Jewish, and my daughter's birthday's December, so in our place, we try and work out all the holidays, so we have the seasonal bush. That's its name, the Seasonal Bush. We decorate it and we light the candles for Hanukkah, so we have sort of a hybrid holiday thing.
Adam Beach (Arctic Air): It's kinda laid back; it's not really a big deal. You know, growing up I lost my parents when I was 8, so celebrations just weren't the same anymore. So when it came to Christmas, it was a reminder of what you didn't have, so you couldn't really enjoy it. Holidays for me don't connect in that way. For my kids, I'll celebrate it with them, but for myself, it's not as important. But I do make sure they're as happy as they can be.
Bruce Croxon (Dragon's Den): Christmas Day shinny!
Zaib Shaikh (Little Mosque): No matter what you celebrate, on the day, they are about the holidays, so families get together. So whether you celebrate those rituals or not, it's still a chance to get together & say "hey! We don't have to work tomorrow!"
Arlene Duncan (Little Mosque): I'm born and raised in Oakville, so I've got the typical Canadian Christmas of Church, Christmas dinner, carols, presents; but then there's also the Jamaican side, so there's a lot of partying.
Fortunately, she did laugh...
Manoj Sood (Little Mosque): Even though we're Hindu, we celebrate Christmas.
"Ever since I was a little kid, Santa's always come."
So how does that fit into Hinduism?
"Well, Santa's very multi-cultural. A lot of Christmas in North America is..."
Zaib Shaikh cuts in "...Santa Krishna-is"
Gerry Dee (Mr. D), who has 2 little girls at home, says: We're just starting to build our own traditions. We put the tree earlier than we ever have before in my life, but you realise that Christmas really is a big time for family and for kids. Everyone tells me they grow up quickly, so we're trying to enjoy this time as much as we can.
As for favourite carols or songs Ron McLean has a decided opinion.
Ron McLean (Hockey Night in Canada): O Holy Night. When I was a kid, I loved O Holy Night because of Joan Biaz. I heard her do it in think 1968. We had an album at home - Bing Crosby Christmas Around the World -and he would throw to a reporter -and it was all taped, but I was a kid -and he'd throw to a reporter at the Vatican and it would be "here's how Christmas is celebrated at the Vatican", and in Rome and at certain hours they'd perform this song. Then they'd throw to The Hague in the Netherlands and "this is how Christmas is done in Amsterdam" and it was just fascinating to me as a kid. So I always wanted to do a Hockey Night in Canada Christmas where I would throw to a correspondent in Cornerbrook and "here's how they do Christmas in the west coast of Newfoundland and then we're off to...
Don Cherry: Good King Wenceslas I like. That's pretty good, deep in snow and all that. I like that one. Good will.
Jared Keeso: O Come All Ye Faithful.
Bruce Croxon: Sleigh Bells...
Arlene Duncan: O Come All Ye Faithful. Love the melody, it's beautiful.
Erica Johnson: Angels We Have Heard on High because I like the chorus.
Tom Harrington: I like the really old English carols so "Here We Come a Wassailing" is one.
Erica: But the one we all end up singing as parents is" You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry..." And I highlight for my daughter "he knows if you've been bad or good..."
Tom Harrington: "...and he's got a hidden camera over there..."