• James Parry

Parrywinkle Dec. 10, 2015

Apart from the weather, with not a snowflake in sight and none predicted for the next few days – at least in our little hamlet by the lake – it sure was starting to look and sound a lot like Christmas everywhere you went around town this past week. As if it hadn't already.

Alright, so I know winter doesn't officially begin until December 21, and that some local diehard skiers snowmobilers and snowshoers are becoming increasingly ticked off. But holy moly, and to parryphrase The Bard, I'll take this any time over the winters of our discontent that we have experienced in recent memory at this time of year.

Already cancelled our snow clearing contract, taken off the winter tires and stored them in the garage for another year, brought out the lawn furniture, donated my winter woolies to The Bunker at the Hudson War Memorial Library and the Nova Boutique, and laid down three rows of Kennebec spuds in the veggie garden. Okay, okay, I'm only kidding!

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LIGHTING UP HUDSON - But sure was nice to perambulate around Hudson this past weekend along with hundreds - if not thousands of others - to take in so many festive happenings, without slipping and sliding after freezing rain, being bundled up like Nanook of the North, or carrying a British brolley which this week is de rigeur more than ever in Vancouver and out west. While snowplows were more appropriate in the Atlantic Provinces digging out after deep snow.

First up, and in sequential order, a big bravo to all at the Société de Développement Commercial (SDC) who put on a fantabulous Christmas Market at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre on Friday afternoon showcasing, in true festive spirit, our local merchants and businesses who serve us with good cheer year round. With live music by Ted & Sylvie Trottier and a visiting bagpiper, as well as supervised games for the youngsters while their parents did some Christmas shopping, it was a blast!

A big hand folks for all the committee members, who also deserve a big thanks for picking up the torch, as it were, and organizing and hosting – with help from the Town – the brilliant Lighting of the Lights for the first time ever outside the community centre as opposed to at the Town Hall. Complete with flickering candles, warming hot chocolate, and the St. Thomas Church Children's Choir led by Jane Blais, conducted by Frank Royle, and supported by some jolly adults from a variety of choirs and choruses around town.

Must say, that while I had doubts at first about the change of venue, there was no question that the setting at the corner of Main and Beach worked wonderfully. Much more space for the folks attending, lots of parking space without blocking traffic in the 'downtown' core, and literally just a brief hop, skip, and a jump away from the market itself.

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SUPER SANTA PARADE - And then, of course, on Sunday, there was Hudson's Santa Claus Parade. Replete with dastardly pirates threatening their worst, Darth Vadar light-sabre duelling with Hans Solo with Princess Leia, R2D2, and all the Star War characters looking on when not waving to the crowds that lined the sidewalk from Cote St. Charles to Beach, as well as Dr. Who and his Tardis time capsule telephone box, marching bands, horses, ponies and, of course, Jolly Old Nick himself.

What a spectacle. And what a turn out! Don't think I've ever seen so many youngsters cheering on the parade along the route. Of course, the weather certainly helped in this regard. But hey, credit where credit is due folks. This was one very well organized, and supported, Santa Claus Parade! Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

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NEW TWIST TO CHRISTMAS - Still in the festive mood - and how can one not be at this time of year with Christmas Eve only two weeks away? - there's a brand new Christmas song on Youtube and Soundcloud that you have just got to check out. Titled, It's Christmas, written and composed by Hudsonite Pierre Chalifoux, and recorded at his Soprano Studio here.

Says Pierre, “I have always wanted to compose a new Christmas song. I really haven't liked any newer songs with the possible exception of John Lennon's Happy Christmas. When composing the lyrics, I read and researched all of the traditional songs that I loved and had grown up listening to. I found that they were either religious, such as Silent Night, or traditional/commercial like White Christmas and Jingle Bells.

Adds Pierre, “I found none that truly blended both themes. I was raised with a fairly balanced view

of this national holiday, both with the Christian and folkloric aspects very present. And I believe that

It's Christmas truly captures most of the thematic phrases that we have come to know and love.

Pierre says he also felt that it would be proper to feature many of his students and studio clients singing on it. “The various male and female vocals of all ages would give it a We are the World

feel with a Yuletide mood. And I guess the proverbial 'cherry on the sundae' was having my 6-year-old son, Damien singing the last line.”

Check it out for yourself at one or both of the following links. https://youtu.be/ksCpliNB8jU or

https://soundcloud.com/pierrechalifoux/its-christmas And enjoy!

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THE GANG'S ALL HERE - And still on seasonal songs and happenings for the entire family, one of my personal favourites and that of my beautiful Sunshine - with literally all its bells and whistles - is this Saturday, December 12, at Hudson's St. Mary's Parish Hall, 273, Main Road, at 4 p.m. Namely, the annual Family Carol Sing led by the Turtle Pond Lane Gang, Together Ensemble, and James Armstrong and his minstrel friends.

What I particularly like about this fun-filled festive fiesta is that you can drop by in your most casual of clothes, wear your most glamorous Christmas tree decorations, while being encouraged to take along the biggest or loudest bells you own and ring them throughout the hour or so of singing.

Apart from the bells, accompanying instruments will include keyboards, guitars, drums, coronet, mandolin, bass, violins, and melodeon. What's more, you will be encouraged to eat as many gingerbread cookies as you require, courtesy of St. Mary's famous gingerbread baker extraordinaire, Elizabeth Dempsey. Oh yes, sherry will also be served to the grownups and apple juice to the youngsters. It's fun, it's free. And while there's absolutely no charge, a goodwill donation will certainly not go amiss. See you there? Ho, ho, ho!

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KITH & KIN - And what would Christmas be without a new poem penned by Your Local Journal's very own unofficial Poet Laureat, Maureen Kirk Conway? This year, it is titled Kith & Kin at Christmas. Enjoy and share it with others. For it is indeed very special and heart-warming.

We’ll be home for Christmas

You can count on us

We’ll arrive by car, by plane

By dog-sled, and by bus.

We’re listed alphabetically

Without reason, without rhyme

We don’t care, we’ve come to share

A jolly Christmas time!

Aunties, brothers, babies, cousins

Daughters, ex’es, fathers, fiancés

Grandmas and grandpas (and others)

Husbands, in-laws, juniors, kinfolk

Lovers, mistresses, and mothers.

Nieces, nephews, old-folk, parents

Quaint relatives, sisters and sons

Teens and twins, uncles and unexpected visitors

Wives, widows and widowers.

X-Mas Eve will find us

Knocking at your door

Singing Yuletide carols

Could you ask for more?

And the same to you and your family Maureen at this special and, for many, emotional time of year!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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