XMAS17 - Christmas is musical for Mitchell family
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Jamie Mitchell, the young president of the Brussels Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, says that Christmas with his family has always been quite a musical affair.
Jamie’s grandmother was the one who first introduced him to playing the violin, but then he’d go on to take professional piano lessons from Emily Cousins in Brussels when he was a young boy. He still plays to this day after first picking up the instrument when he was about eight years old.
This came about two years after he had started piano lessons and then moved on to the violin.
He said that he and his family’s musical inclinations usually manifest themselves year-round, whether it be at other family gatherings, the annual reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association or at different jamborees in Huron County or its neighbouring communities.
Around Christmas, however, it’s certainly part of the family’s tradition for everyone to get out their favourite musical instrument and make music together – sometimes Christmas music and sometimes not – but it has proven over the years to be a powerful bonding experience with the Mitchell family.
As for the Christmas holidays, Mitchell says he always remembers an emphasis on getting together with family around the tail-end of December.
On Christmas Eve, he said, everyone would always be together and they would play board games with one another. That has developed into quite a tradition, but this year they’re looking to break out of the house and develop some activities for family members of all ages outdoors.
On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Mitchell said that he would then get together with various sides of his family and celebrate the holidays with them.
The music running through the family’s veins is continuing to be an influence, Mitchell said. His five-year-old niece is just getting to the age that she’s interested in music and Mitchell is hoping to help usher her into the family.
She’s now the proud owner of a small toy fiddle and it probably won’t be long until she’s old enough for the real thing, Mitchell said.
In his younger days, Mitchell says he always remembers busy, loud Christmas celebrations at his grandparents’ house. With four boys in the family, there was always plenty of people around and he truly appreciated the whole family aspect of the holiday in those years.