Celebrating holiday traditions in Guelph
With the holidays upon us, there is no better time to take a pause from the present-day frenzy and reflect on past traditions celebrated in Guelph. During this season, family traditions are sacred and unique to each home. They bring us together as families and as a community. Our collective traditions make this the most wonderful time of the year in Guelph.
With so many special traditions and memories shared in our Home for the Holiday exhibition, we want to share a few of them on our blog:
Aiineen Jan Sherman ndiiishnagaash, Aniisnaabe Me’tis, Guelph ndoonjibaa
Jan Sherman recognizes the holiday season in several spiritual ways to honour all her ancestors; First Nations, Irish, and English. They begin with gathering of family and friends to celebrate Winter Solstice where they welcome the changing season and to give thanks for the gifts it brings. It is a time for personal introspection, transformation, and is a resting time for Mother Earth. Her Nokomis Mukwa drum gets put to sleep with a ceremony offering Her spirit time to hibernate with her bear family over the winter months.
On New Year ’s Day, her home is shared with dear friends; drumming, singing, and playing games that nurture the child within. They also take an Earth Walk with sparklers, sending heart messages out into the world with intentions for the New Year.
Linda Fazzari’s holiday memories are sweet. In the 1980s and early 1990s Linda made many gingerbread houses and other structures for her family and to sell at her store. She made the dough from scratch and created her own templates for the houses. One year a customer ordered 20 gingerbread houses to give as gifts for all the staff at her husband’s office in Toronto.
Over the years, Linda created the basic gingerbread house, a fireplace, a merry-go-round, and a replica of her house on Youngman Drive. To replicate her family home, she scaled down the architect’s drawings.
Rabbi Raphi Steiner is creating new traditions in the community and with his young family. Last year he packed his then one and half year old son into the car and delivered fresh fried latkes (potato pancakes), a holiday treat, to university students cooped up studying for exams. Students loved the homemade delicacy, as they basked in the warmth of the Chanukah candles in their residences. This shared experience sparked memories that will last a lifetime.