Pet Press KALISPELL DEC 2018
I come from a very musical family. My parents are both musicians, everyone in my extended family is a musician, and even my wife and sons are musicians. As a kid, I played piano and sang in several choirs. With all this musical talent in my genes, it’s no surprise that we went caroling around the holidays. I don’t mean we got together with a group of friends and went down the street one night. Christmas caroling was a serious business. Christmas Traditions Through the Ages GINGERBREAD AND CLAM CHOWDER
It’s interesting to think about where our traditions come from and how they change as the years go by. When the kids were young, we lived
in Butte. Come winter, the local fire stations would flood all the parks, creating ice rinks all over town. The city put out these elaborate Christmas scenes, and on Christmas Eve, our family would go ice skating, enjoying the lights and the various scenes. Now the kids are in college, and none of us really want to be out on the ice at midnight anymore.
Every year, my parents made a list of between 80–100 people. We would hit 10 houses a night for over a week, singing four- part harmonies with instruments in tow. Sometimes we would have extended family members in town who came along, but most years, it was just me, my brother, and our parents. Occasionally we hit a house where a party was being held, but that didn’t deter us from knocking on the door and bursting into song. The party guests usually assumed their hosts had arranged for the festive entertainment. It wasn’t until I was 9 or 10 years old that I realized not everyone’s family practiced such hardcore caroling.
It’s interesting to think about where our traditions come from and how they change as the years go by.
Not all our traditions fade with time. Around 40 years ago, when I was 6 years old, a family friend with strong German heritage got us to start making gingerbread houses. This is something we still do today, making gingerbread and icing from scratch to build foot-tall houses covered in candies. We make a few for ourselves and one to give as a gift to a friend. It takes a whole Saturday, and we always have such a great time.
I love celebrating all of these traditions. It’s part of my genetic makeup. Sometimes it gets me in
Our style of caroling may have been extreme, but I always thought it was pretty awesome. It was one way we spent time together as a family, and I really enjoyed it. These days, Christmas caroling isn’t a part of our holiday traditions. I would go in a heartbeat, but my wife isn’t a fan of singing in front of people. After marrying Rose Ann, I sort of traded Christmas caroling for Christmas Eve clam chowder, which is something her family did every year. It’s not a bad trade; there’s nothing like warm chowder after church on a cold winter’s night.
trouble, because I don’t want to say no to anything that we’ve been doing for forever, but I love all our traditions. I hope my kids have picked up on a few things here and there that they can pass on to their own kids one day.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all! I hope you are able to enjoy all the traditions you uphold with your family this year.
—Dr. Jevon Clark 406.755.6886
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