December 2002
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Christmas in Colinet
By Cory Linehan, St. Catherine's Academy, Mount Carmel, NL

Picture a horse hauling a large sled with ten children all dressed for the cold winter weather. The snow is lightly falling on the children's red, rosy cheeks. The sound of Christmas songs like "Jingle Bells" is heard in the air.

In Colinet, Newfoundland, Christmas traditions of the past cause people to remember happy, joyful times. According to people interviewed, "houses were decorated inside and out. Homemade ornaments were popular since there wasn't a lot of money to go to the store and buy them." Food for Christmas was also all homemade. Jigg's Dinner with vegetables was the main meal. There were no turkeys like today. "Hens were the main course and for desert you would be lucky to get jello," said Eileen Linehan.

Gifts were a big part of Christmas. But it wasn't at all like today. There was very little money and Santa usually only brought two gifts, "mostly apples, oranges and plastic toys."

Mummering is popular in Newfoundland. In Colinet, there were visitors coming and going to the house and told lots of stories and "then we would all go to church. Going to church was the main tradition during Christmas. We would go everyday," noted Linehan.

Sledding was a highlight. One best part was being pulled by the horse, then having a lunch. Mrs. Linehan told this reporter, "We would have tea and bread with molasses. It would taste some good after loading up the sleigh with wood!"


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