Leading up to the holiday season, we asked a few residents to tell us about their fondest holiday traditions that get passed down from generation to generation and are appreciated every year. We are grateful to those who shared their memories.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the people of this community! The Centennial News team wishes you peace, joy, love and kindness during this holiday season. And thank you to our advertisers for sticking with the paper during these challenging times. Here’s hoping 2022 will be a better year for everyone

The more significant celebration is on New Year’s Day

Janice Bennink

Even though I love Christmas, my most treasured holiday rituals come from my mother’s Japanese New Year traditions. In Japan, New Year’s Day is the more significant celebration, so my mom passed her own family customs to me as naturally as she had learned them herself. Lucky for me, one of the traditions is making and enjoying Japanese food. Every New Year’s Day, my mom would serve a fantastic spread of dishes for friends and family who visited our home. So on December 31, I am most often found rolling maki sushi and making mochi (glutinous rice cakes) because they have to be eaten on New Year’s Day to ensure good luck in the coming year. To be honest, a stretchy rice cake in ozoni (a fish-based broth) is not the most attractive or tasty of dishes. It is, however, essential eating in my home on January 1 and I can’t even explain why– maybe that’s the beauty of traditions made timeless.

Two different Santas from two families

Bonnie and John Gibb

From my side we have those fragile shiny coloured glass ball ornaments with “frosted” decorations including one of Santa in his sleigh. They are placed up high in the tree away from our cat’s paws. There’s also an old Santa ornament with a Christmas tree that’s about 90 years old. Its thin glass makes it too fragile to hang on the tree but we still display it every Christmas. From my wife’s family we have a cute Santa treetop ornament made to have a light inside that dates from the ’40s.We also have a tree candle presented to Bonnie by an elderly Finnish family friend in her home town of Atikokan. Bonnie was 6 that Christmas and amazed at the beauty of Annie’s tree fully lit by such candles. We attach it each Christmas – unlit

Starting new family traditions

Jeanne Laverock

My holiday memorabilia story is a little different. I wish I had something that has been passed down from my ancestors, however growing up my family did not celebrate. There was always a part of me that wished we did, and I knew that if/when I had a family, I wanted to celebrate with them. When I first moved out, I decided that I would start buying decorations. I was young so I went into our local Biway store (the dollar store of the ’80s). These are not the ornaments I would choose for my tree today but 36 years later I still open the boxes and remember my journey. These ornaments (especially this one) are still a special part of our tree. I now have a large family and we LOVE the holidays. We have started many family traditions that my children will pass on to their families, including these ornaments.

Father Christmas brings back memories of close friends

Myrna Cox

This is a story about just one of the 50 Christmases that we have celebrated in our home on Meadowvale Rd. We have so many beautiful memories, but this one allows us to honour two very close friends who, we are sad to say, left us several years ago.

Some may recall Gord Grieveson. He was a long-term executive member of CCRA. It is Gord’s beloved wife Joyce who brings forth our Christmas memories on this occasion. Joyce was a very talented lady who frequented a craft store called Nautilus in the village. She designed and made many items, many of which she gave away. My Christmas was filled with joy the year she made and presented me with a lovely gift. It was a large Father Christmas, beautifully clothed in blue (my favourite colour) velvet with faux fur trim. It adorns my cabinet every year.

Piece of family history brought good luck

Syed and Ryhan Rayman

Every holiday season, Syed and Ryhan Rayman bring out a piece of family history from their birthplace in Guyana. This carving of three wise men was a gift given to Syed’s great aunt by her parents. Her father was of Chinese descent and the story of where he got the carving is long lost. It’s more than 100 years old and represents Chinese traditional values of long life, happiness and good health. Syed’s mother gave them this precious gift as a good luck talisman as they were leaving Guyana for Canada in 1971. Ryhan spoke warmly about how people of various backgrounds respected and celebrated each other’s religious holidays in Guyana. “Appreciation for all religions brought so much joy and peace,” said Syed. Yes, the three wise men have brought much luck to Syed and Ryhan and their family over the 50 years that they have called Canada and Centennial home

Handmade keepsakes adorn the girls’ special little tree

Sean and Megan Krasnewych

The Krasnewych family of Sean, Megan, Emery and Keira have created their own very special family Christmas tradition. Each year, a four-foot-tall Christmas tree gets set up on the second-floor landing where the young girls see it before going to bed and as they wake up. The tree is chockablock full of special handmade decorations. There’s a Christmas wreath made from green felt with a photo of Sean in the middle made by him when he was a little boy in a Beaver troop. Megan’s cutout Christmas tree with little stick-on decorations made when she was a little girl is also lovingly displayed. Emery, 10 years old, and Keira, 7 years old, “own” this tree and they decorate it each year with keepsakes from Mom and Dad and their own special creations over the years. Megan expects that they will need a bigger tree in the coming years as the keepsakes keep on growing!

Great-grandma’s pastry cutter never fails

Amy Stephenson

Who doesn’t love pie? Eight-year-old me, despite the fact that there were amazing homemade apple, cherry and pumpkin pies at the holiday table. So my grandma would make me a special chocolate pudding pie. This was just one of the ways she showed her love at Christmas. I eventually learned to love pie and now see it as quintessential to the holidays. With the public health measure keeping the family bakers (my aunt and grandma) away last Christmas, I was tasked with making a pie. It was an exciting challenge to keep the pie tradition alive. While making pastry is finicky and stressful, I was fortunate to have my great-grandmother’s pastry cutter. The cutter is at least twice my age but never fails to bring on the Christmas spirit.