Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe
As fans of the Vinyl Cafe books and radio show know, we lost Stuart McLean this year, beloved author and radio host. Stuart is best known for his Vinyl Cafe stories about Dave and his wife Morley. For years, every weekend, CBC radio played a new edition of The Vinyl Cafe featuring music from up and coming Canadian talent, and a hilarious, heart-warming story expertly told by Stuart. Sundays just haven’t been the same at my house without Stuart’s rich and charming voice coming through the radio.
Every Christmas, fans would look forward to Stuart’s cross-country live show, visiting all major cities across Canada featuring new, or favourite Christmas stories about Dave. Perhaps Stuart’s best known Christmas story is ‘Dave Cooks the Turkey’ or ‘Christmas with the Turlingtons’
Stuart’s last Christmas show was taped in December of 2015 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, shortly after his cancer diagnosis was announced. This was a very special episode indeed. And on this present December weekend in 2017, CBC Radio One and Two decided to re-broadcast his final Christmas show during their former regular time slots. I just finished listening to my regular Sunday at noon Vinyl Cafe show, and it was lovely to hear Stuart’s voice coming through my radio again. In his typical fashion of using stories to bring people together, Stuart McLean concluded the show with “A call for peace” singing John Lennon’s ‘And so this is Christmas’ with his guests. The story featured in this episode is called ‘The Christmas Card’, and it is guaranteed to make you smile. You can hear Stuart’s final Christmas show here.
Luckily, Stuart’s stories can still be listened to through podcasts or online and his many decades of story-writing are compiled in his numerous books available everywhere. For Christmas stories, check out this link.
Happy Holidays! Sue, for Best New Book Club
Sue and Christine meeting Stuart a few years ago at a London book shop
Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe
One of my favourite Christmas traditions has been to do my Christmas baking while listening to The Vinyl Cafe Christmas stories. I made the usual assortment of treats this year – brownies, chocolate cheesecake brownies, triple layer bars, cranberry caramelitas, peanut butter snowballs (which I forgot to put on the tray!), and buttertarts; then I purchased gingersnaps and shortbread from our friend Julia at Sharing Organic in Ilderton, and then some pink squares and the star shaped jam filled cookies from my sister-in-law Dee, at the Covent Garden Farmers’ Market (outside on Saturdays until Christmas 8am – 1pm,). Oh yes, those yummy foil wrapped santas are from Rheo Thompson Candies in Stratford!
Here’s a whole bunch of Christmas baking recipes for you!
Merry Christmas! Christine