New from Breton Books, Cape Breton’s Christmas celebrates the season with stories and memories from the heart of Cape Breton Island. Edited by Ronald Caplan, this collection features holiday stories by Tessie Gillis, Ellison Robertson, Jim St Clair, and more!
Paul MacDougall and friends romp through Archie Nathanson’s Store in the Pier. Fort McMurray columnist Verna Murphy remembers the kindness of Mabou Harbour neighbours to a very sick child. And Jordan MacVay delivers a witty tale of a desperate parent running to save Christmas Eve. There are memories of a prize-winning Acadian meat pie, the Christmas Island Post Office, Gaelic and Mi’kmaq and Acadian traditions, the mummers on Scatarie Island, and a Jewish teenager testing how far he can participate in the Christmas season.
Wanda Robson, Marie Battiste, and Jacques Côté detail the triumph of kindness. Fr. Roman Dusanowskyj describes Ukrainian celebrations. The Whitney Pier community roasts turkeys at Bernie’s Bakery and the Steel Plant is turned into one huge party alive with good fellowship. And Johnny Abbass tells the story of the time Sydney police arrested Santa Claus.
True to the island, Cape Breton’s Christmas is full of joy while reflecting challenges and strategies for survival that speak of Cape Breton achievement. Cape Breton’s Christmas tells of Christmas won and Christmas nearly lost, of Christmas celebrated snug on the island and Christmas far from home. It is a book to be read at any time of the year—a genuine bedside companion.
Cape Breton’s Christmas will be launched on Thursday, December 11, from 4 to 6 at the McConnell Library in Sydney. There will be hot cider and cookies and readings from the book. Ron Caplan will talk about gathering this rare collection, and Wendy Bergfeldt will be there to broadcast CBC’s “Mainstreet.” There is no charge and everyone is invited.
The royalties from all sales of Cape Breton’s Christmas will be donated to the CBC Radio charity “Light Up A Life” in support of Feed Nova Scotia.