Guerette appreciates deep traditions during Christmas

Jeannine Guerette enjoyed choirs singing in four-part harmony, something that has been lost today.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Jeannine Guerette wishes she could return to the days when the true meaning of Christmas was celebrated more.

“We had so many traditions that focused on the Christian faith,” says Guerette, 81, a longtime resident of Falher, who makes her home in the Villa Beausejour.

“Nobody remembers those anymore,” she says.

She fondly cherishes the four-part harmony of the choir singing in the Paroise St. Anne Catholic Church in Falher as a young child.

“The music sounded angelic and it made me feel the divinity of the moment.

“You could feel the body of people acknowledge Jesus.

“People were joyous all the time.”

She enjoyed the music of the choirs and the children.

“It was just beautiful,” Guerette says.

Now, she says, that has mostly been lost.

Guerette has lived in Falher since 1947 as the eighth of 18 children of Leopold and Alice Beaudoin.

“Looking at the Christmas gifts and going to the Christmas Eve mass are my fondest memories of Christmas in my childhood,” Guerette says.

“The nativity scene at the church was always so cute.”

Getting to the church was an adventure.

“We always went to church mass in the winter in a sleigh ride,” Guerette says.

“We sat on hay and we huddled under a blanket.”

Christmas was a long holiday for the family.

“The holidays started on Christmas Eve and went to Jan. 6, the day when the Wise Men came to see the baby Jesus,” Guerette says.

She was always thankful for the gifts she received.

“After mass, we went home and opened our gifts,” Guerette says.

“Before I was nine years old, I mostly got toys.”

She also remembers the scarves and mittens her mother knit for the children.

As she got older, she often recevied a dress made by her mother.

“She would be on the sewing machine until midnight,” Guerette says.

“Dad made wooden toys for the boys.”

Christmas dinner was fulfilling.

“We always had meat pies, turkey with dressing,” Guerette says.

“Dad always bought a jug of wine for Christmas.”

Dessert usually included raisin pie, sugar pie and egg pie, which had cinnamon.

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