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Monday, December 24, 2012

Le Reveillon

As a young Catholic boy growing up in Montreal, Quebec it was tradition for my dads side of the family to hold Le Reveillon on Christmas Eve when the family would first gather at the eldest members home for the customary feast in celebration of the Birth of Christ. After which the family would attend midnight mass together.

The above sketch was done by my father in 1921 when he was 12 years old using a quill or nib pen and ink

My mothers side of the family, while Protestant, carried on the same tradition likely due to my Great Great Great Grandfather Basile Piche having been a Catholic up until the Protestant Evangelicals of the time convinced him to convert to Protestantism in 1850. 

As a boy our family would all attend services Christmas Eve at Bethany Presbyterian in Verdun. It was a joyous occasion with all or most of the congregation being related including Reverend Duclos, whose annual tradition it was to have a heart attack during the service. All the elders would run to the pulpit and carry him off to the hospital.

After the good Reverend was deemed to be OK everyone would gather in the basement for the Santa gift giving.

The drive to church and back was always entertaining as dad would put on his Santa costume at home and drive to church as Santa Clause. Whenever we stopped for a light the adjacent cars would toot their horn and yell Merry Christmas Santa, and their children would have this wonderful grin on their faces.

Rosalyn and I
Christmas 1947
Osbourn Ave, Verdun

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