Holidays a musical time for the Dawes - Christmas 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
When it comes to Christmas at the Dawe household in Clinton, music and relaxation both play a big part for the family of five.
Steve Dawe, who works at Blyth Printing, his wife Heather and their three children, Ava, Molly and Felix all have a busy lead-up to the holiday season, but once it hits, relaxation is what’s on tap for the family
“Leading up to Christmas can get a little insane,” Steve said. “Heather directs the Seaforth All-Girls Marching Band, which has parade season from November to early December, and she’s a big part of the Seaforth Public School’s annual Christmas concert. She’s also involved with Goderich Children’s Theatre that performs leading up to the holidays. Our house is filled with a revolving stock of costumes and instruments.”
Christmas is also a busy time at the print shop, Steve said, as people come with a lot of unique ideas that they help make happen. Whether it’s Christmas gifts, calendars or Christmas cards, when they are added to the list of regular work that happens it makes for a busy time.
“It’s definitely a neat time of the season,” Steve said. “People have a lot of good ideas for gifts and one offs.”
The family spends the two weeks around Christmas together with Steve taking time off work to make sure he has time to spend with his wife and children.
“It’s the best time of the year because I don’t have a lot of screen printing,” Steve said, referring to his company Hijinks! Custom Screen Printing. “It gives us time to write and record music together.”
Christmas is filled with music at the Dawe house, which isn’t surprising given that the family has its own band, The Honey Sweethearts. Beyond that, other family members join in, and jam sessions are held throughout the holiday.
The first week off is busy, Steve said, but the second is focused on pyjama time and playing music.
During that first week, the Dawes spend time visiting families, with Steve saying it “seems like there is a Christmas every day.”
He also said that Heather’s family has an interesting tradition where 50 to 60 people stay overnight at someone’s house.
“It’s a real 24-hour event,” he said. “She thought that was completely normal, which kind of shows you everyone celebrates differently.”
The second week lends itself to creation, Steve said, pointing to a cover The Honey Sweethearts did of Gord Lightfoot’s “For Winter’s Night” that made the rounds on The Beach radio station in previous years.
Christmas Day itself is also relaxing, Steve said, as he and Heather decided, several years ago, to stay at home and make the day about family.
“There’s no visiting for us that day,” he said. “For the kids, there’s nothing worse than getting presents, then packing up and leaving before they get to have any fun.
“We stay in our pyjamas, and sometimes welcome visitors, but we stay at home,” he said.
Steve said the family likes to stretch Christmas Day out as much as possible.
“It’s different from when I grew up,” he said. “We open a few gifts, then go and make cinnamon buns, have breakfast, then open up some more presents. We like to pace it out.”
In the afternoon, the family members tackle their stockings.
Santa has also adopted some new practices at the house, courtesy of Heather’s creativity. Steve explained that Heather created Santa sacks, in which Santa leaves unwrapped gifts to save wrapping paper going to the landfill.