A holiday mailing box

The Purolator Artist

Purolator has unveiled this year’s limited-edition holiday art boxes representing all provinces and territories including a Yukon artist.

Fabric wrapped Christmas gifts

DIY Eco-Friendly Christmas

According to Zero Waste Canada, only 1 per cent of everything the average person buys is still in use six months after Christmas.

A choir on stage

The Choir Is Back

The Whitehorse Community Choir’s annual Christmas shows are happening Dec. 2-3, and won’t be scaled down due to pandemic restrictions.

Christmas ornament

Grey Matters: Christmas memories

I’ve just finished “taking down Christmas” for another year. I love the ritual; the small, silent, solitary ceremony of this dismantling.

The Christmas elves of [email protected]

Last-minute shoppers are sure to find something for a friend or family member at Yukon Artists @ Work. There are also lots of small treasures for topping up stocking, or add some sparkle to what has been a very strange and difficult year.

Christmas treats

I just can’t wait for Christmas to come around again and the kitchen abounds with the cooking smells of Christmas pudding.

Zoom, Santa, Zoom

It’s tough to sit on Santa’s knee from a distance of two metres, but many of our seasonal traditions have required a pandemic-appropriate makeover this year.

Trolls and ogresses for Christmas

Christmas promises to be white as a Bing Crosby croons. As we Canadians hunker down for the Yuletide to come, let us raise a wassail bowl to the fact we don’t live in Iceland.

On the Other Side of the Coin

Murray Martin gives WUY permission to share this poem free of charge every holiday. We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas, and please drive responsibly at all times of the year.

Netflix and Christmas

Well folks, with the holidays fast descending upon us and many lamenting the lack of a decent theatre in the Yukon, I know what you’re all thinking—how am I going to get my movie fix? Don’t worry, with all the streaming services that exist today, one need never leave home to get their share of …

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When the community comes together, Christmas magic is possible

Since 1991, Wayne Henderson, aka Garbage Truck Santa, has delighted Yukoners with his colourful light displays, dancing antlers, music and gifts of candy canes. Now, Henderson can feel confident that his garbage truck will keep bringing joy throughout the holiday season for years to come.

Twelve days of holiday cheer

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, Yukoners find themselves in the full swing of seasonal craft markets. One of the most highly-anticipated events in the calendar, and the largest in the 2019 season, is the 12 Days of Christmas Market, taking place this year from Dec. 12 to Dec. 23 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural …

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Opportunity is what they do

Every holiday season the Challenge Disability Resource Group brings their clients together with business community supporters, funders and government officials, for the Challenge Annual Christmas Luncheon. This fully inclusive and barrier-free event is just one element of the myriad of work that Challenge does to support Yukoners with a disability. “We are a non-profit organization …

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Ring in the Holidays with Song

For many, the holiday season would not be complete without their favourite Christmas music. The Whitehorse Community Choir has the perfect solution for those who are loathe to see December pass without beautiful renditions of “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The choir’s winter concert, Tis the Season, will be sure to fill …

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Didee & Didoo: Christmas in Heaven

Merry Christmas to Ellen and Robert Bruce. Merry Christmas to Hannah and Joe Netro. Merry Christmas to Jessie and Charlie Thomas. Merry Christmas to Fanny and Charlie P. Charlie. Merry Christmas to Mary and Lazarus Charlie. Merry Christmas to Alice and Donald Frost. Merry Christmas to Myra and Peter Moses. Merry Christmas to Myra and …

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Ready for Christmas Eve

The cast including shepherds, angels, wise persons and citizens. PHOTO: Dan Davidson   What would Christmas Eve be without carols and a pageant. All are invited—shepherds, angels, wise persons, citizens, family and friends—to St. Paul’s Anglican Church A traditional Christmas Eve in Dawson City begins with an ecumenical carol and pageant service at St. Paul’s …

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At least I’m not a giraffe’s backside this time

The time-honoured English tradition of the Christmas pantomime (known affectionately as just “panto”) was not part of my childhood. For the benefit of those of us who weren’t weaned on this particular theatrical fare, it’s important to bear in mind various traditions, tropes, and stereotypes of an English-style panto.

A Clutterless Christmas

This year, commit to giving presents that will be useful, meaningful and appreciated. There are many (so many!) options for Yukoners to consider if you just think a little creatively.

Santa: A Superhero!

Santa Claus: known by many names in countless countries. He represents kindness, generosity, sharing, positivity and goodwill to all.

Bah! Humbug!

Christmas —’tis the season to be jolly, for many; but for others, not so much (think “Grinch”!). Perhaps … just maybe … a little balance to the celebrating is in order? This year on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, the Whitehorse Community Choir will take the stage, at the Yukon Arts Centre, to …

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Throwing the doors open

After almost nine months on the job, the Honourable Angélique Bernard is loving her new role as the Commissioner of Yukon. That time has been mostly spent meeting people and educating them on the role of the Commissioner. Bernard notes that the responsibilities of the role are unknown to many Yukoners, since she is not …

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It’s beginning to look a lot like … (you know)

The pre-Christmas season will soon be underway here in the Klondike, actually beginning a few days before this piece can see print. It’s a season of bazaars and open houses that lead up to the actual holidays. It begins with the oldest and largest of the bazaars, the Little Blue Daycare Christmas Bazaar. This will …

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It’s (almost) that most wonderful time of the year …

This year’s Spruce Bog Craft Fair features a wide array of crafts, from quilts that mirror paintings, to paintings that mirror nature, to knit designs that are seen in current fashion, or to locally-made gourmet coffee Spruce Bog. Two inspiring and motivational words that bring back many pleasant memories, both of crafting and shopping; they …

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The Yukon’s exclusive arts and crafts

Only two weeks to go until the 2018 Cranberry Fair, when, again, over 40 artists will gather to present the Yukon’s exceptional artistic craftsmanship.

It’s time for Mr. Green Jeans to hang it all up

It’s official. Apart from a few hardy species that relish cold weather for some absurd reason, backyard garden 2018 has now been decommissioned. Several less-hardy species—tomatoes, peppers, et alia—clung valiantly to life in their wheeled, rodent-resistant enclosures much longer than I had expected. But once the overnight temperatures headed into negative territory on a regular …

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Rope wreaths and Yukon steamers

Ruth Treskatis, volunteer and Janna Swales, executive director, proudly display their creations in front of the popsicle stick model of the SS Klondike at the Yukon Transportation Museum on Oct 15/18 What a history-packed day November 3, 2018, will be at our local Yukon Transportation Museum (YTM). The special activities start at 3 p.m. with …

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Skagway shenanigans

Early morning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 23 I began my journey to Skagway. The brisk Whitehorse temperatures of -27ºC would be a distant memory once I got to Alaska. I arrived to a balmy -6ºC in Skagway and I started the trek up to Upper Dewey Lakes on the steep snowless tracks, regretting …

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The humiliation of having a 5-cent timepiece

In the hyper-sensitive world of childhood, an ill-chosen word can sometimes have a devastating impact, even if no harm is intended. I’m not talking about the kind of taunting, bullying talk that was unfortunately common on the playgrounds of my youth and is still far too prevalent today. I mean a casual, harmless remark – often …

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Traditional butter cookies

Old time treats

Back in the 1930s and 40s mom baked her own goodies and desserts. They tasted far better than the modern off-the-shelf desserts.

Hot Dickens Cider

The holiday season ushers in all kinds of warming specialty drinks to cozy up with around the house. This Hot Dickens Cider is named after A Christmas Carol author Charles Dickens. I have no idea why, as it’s a variant of the original recipe “borrowed” from my brother. It’s a wonderful warming drink that carries …

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Getting Ready for Christmas Eve

After all the bazaars and seasonal open houses are done, and folks are just about ready to settle down at home waiting for Christmas Morning to arrive, there is one more thing that happens for quite a few folks in Dawson. The various churches will have their own late evening services on December 24, but …

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Looking for a lovely gift…

The Yukon Craft Society is holding its second annual Spruce Bog Boutique in the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel from December 7 to 20.

Santa Claus is coming to town

For the parents who had heard that Santa Claus wasn’t going to be able to make it to the Whitehorse Winterval Festival Santa Claus Parade and the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Main Street, you can now let your children know he will be there – with bells on!

Honouring sadness at Christmastime

“It’s okay to not be okay,” said Reverend Bev Brazier. That’s the concept around the Blue Christmas service held at the United Church on Sunday, December 3. The annual service anticipates that Christmas can be a very intense and challenging time for some people.

A community living craft fair

On Saturday, December 2, the Yukon Association for Community Living (YACL) is having its annual Christmas Craft Fair and Open House.

Gifts for geeks

If you don’t know what to get the geek on your Christmas list, the Yukon Comic Culture Society (YCCS) is coming to the rescue. The Society is hosting an event called Geek the Halls on Sunday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gold Rush Inn. According to Tracy Erman, president of …

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Christmas cheer and improving health care

The 15th annual Northwestel Festival of Trees will kick off on Thursday, Nov. 23 with the Business After Hours (BAH) Humbug event at the Yukon government Main Administration Building foyer. The annual fundraising event for Yukon health care concludes on Dec. 2 with the Alkan Air Grand Ball, a formal seated dinner that is already …

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Spruce things up

This year’s Spruce Bog Craft Sale takes place Saturday, November 18. There are plenty of returning vendors, as well as a few newbies, for a total of roughly 100 booths.

Christmas Crockpot Candy

This delicious mélange of peanuts, chocolate, and almond bark has become a family favourite. 6. Allow to harden for at least 1 hour. 7. Enjoy responsibly! Notes: Be careful though…Christmas Crack is extremely addictive.  It is best served chilled.  We eat it right out of the freezer.

Winter Anticipation

December is the Friday of the year. The whole month is filled with giddy anticipation for the budding winter wonderland, parallel to the giddy anticipation one feels for the weekend, while staring at the clock Friday afternoon. That’s when the wise ones will let us know that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. Our idealist …

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How to Write a Memorable Christmas Letter

The Christmas and New Year’s letter was a tradition in England that predated the first Christmas card in 1843, according to With the expansion of the British postal system, Sir Henry Cole, who had many friends and acquaintances and not enough time to write a letter to each of them, commissioned the printing of …

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Exercise May Eliminate the Harmful Effects of Overeating

As the season of overindulgence is upon us, binging and overeating becomes an almost daily occurrence. From cookies and treats at the office to endless dinners and potlucks, for the next month we will all likely be filling our bellies beyond their normal capacity. People who for 11 months of the year may eat well …

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About a Fair

From stunning jewelery, fine arts and unique crafts to quality prepared foods and personal care products hand made by Yukon artisans, the 12 Days of Christmas has become one of the largest Yukon craft fairs over the past decade. From its humble beginnings as a one day Christmas market in 2005 it has gradually grown …

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Everyone Matters

One of the philosophical pillars of the Learning Tree Daycare is to teach the kids there about helping other people. “Teaching kindness and all of that stuff, it all feeds into what we want the kids to be learning,” says Christine Greff, who directs the daycare’s programming. Teaching kindness was the impetus behind the first …

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Just For Kids

On Saturday, Dec. 3 the kids get to shop. All by themselves, without parents watching over shoulders. It’s the perfect chance for them to buy Christmas presents for their family. The Kids Shopping Hour is part of the Second Annual Christmas Market at The Old Firehall, which runs for two days: Friday, Dec. 2, from …

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Hang on, George

Christmas Eve, 1946. Several actors huddle around their microphones, live-broadcasting a radio station’s seasonal drama, complete with commercial intervals and a touch of Yuletide music. The story they are dramatizing concerns a well-meaning chap from a small town, struggling to save his deceased father’s savings and loan company from bankruptcy. His world is collapsing, because …

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Newspaper-Making in Namibia

Murder, betrayal or New Year celebrations – these are the topics on the list. It is December 30 and we have to decide which story will be on the cover of tomorrow’s newspaper. Unfortunately, there will be blood leaking from the newspaper on New Year’s Day. The murder of a German-Namibian farmer is breaking news. …

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Tips on Winter Birding

Yes, baby, it’s cold outside. But birding can get you out of the house, connect you with nature, and other people. During December’s Christmas bird counts – an annual winter birding tradition – hundreds of participants recorded birds in 14 different communities. (The numbers aren’t all in yet.) In Whitehorse, 46 people gave up Boxing …

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Jamaican Baked Bananas for Christmas

Delicate and fine, the American Beauty Rose china service was surrounded by gleaming silver cutlery, platters and serving bowls passed down through family generations. All set on crisp, freshly ironed linen tablecloths, the dining room was ready for royalty. I was 10 years old. A working class Caucasian kid on a mixed family street in …

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A Puff of Humbug

I have read A Christmas Carol many times, but I can’t seem to recall is if Ebenezer Scrooge smoked a cigar or a pipe, or even smoked at all. Perhaps Mr. Scrooge (prior to his ghostly visits) would have been too penny pinching to splurge on a box of nice stogies for himself. And after …

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Christmas in Dawson

Christmas is a time of gatherings with family and friends.  But what if you find yourself alone at that time of year? Well, if you’re in Dawson City, you have nothing to worry about. The community will make sure that everyone has somewhere to go. Dan Dowhal has first-hand experience with the Christmas spirit of …

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Dawson Lights up for Christmas

We have reached that point in the season where we don’t get a lot of direct sunlight in Dawson City’s historic townsite. Those who live the Dome subdivisions – which I refer to as Literary Heights because all the streets are named for authors – do continue to get a short view of Ol’ Sol …

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Historians agree that our modern Christmas tree tradition originated in the German Renaissance period (circa 1500). Martin Luther added candles as decoration. Prior to candles, Tannenbaum (or Christmas tree in English) were decorated with apples and nuts. The practice of bringing evergreen boughs into the home at Solstice is much older.  Egyptian culture used evergreen …

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Seeds of Cuba

The Christmas season is upon us. For cigar lovers, this is a perfect excuse to indulge and order up a nice selections of stogies. For those who live in Whitehorse, there happens to be a store where you can get the best cigars Cuba has to offer. In the heart of downtown on Main Street …

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Love, Ambivalently

Many beloved Christmas films had inauspicious debuts. It’s a Wonderful Life lost money for the studio when it was released in 1946, but television viewings turned it into a bona fide classic 30 years after its release. Similarly, Love Actually has unexpectedly become a Christmas staple in some quarters. Admittedly, I belong in that group, …

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20 years of going to the dogs …

Humane Society Dawson is celebrating a milestone birthday this year. The “small shelter with a big heart” turns 20 years old, and shows no signs of slowing down.   The Humane Society’s mandate is to provide shelter and care for abandoned and surrendered animals, educate and raise awareness for responsible pet ownership and to work …

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A Northern Tradition

Each year, Whitehorse ushers in the Christmas season by lighting the gigantic evergreen tree on Front Street, a parade along Main Street, and Santa arrives – mukluks and all. We even have our own name for this glistening annual event- Winterval. Every year Winterval combines the magic of Christmas with the creativity of the arts. …

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‘Tis the season: Christmas 2015

Jessica Vellenga will offer antique lace pendants and cowls created from old sweaters. A graduate of McMaster University with study abroad experience at University of Leeds, England, Vellenga brings a wonderful fine arts sensibility to her work. There will be at least 10 vendors with incredible products participating in re:design. A personal favourite is the …

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Seed Catalogues Launch Dreams

“There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues” – Hal Borland, American journalist (1900 – 1978). Seed catalogues evoke memories of summer breezes and warmer times; they are wonderful to peruse on a cold blustery day. We often receive three, …

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St. Paul’s Tries To Get Warmer

November and most of December were mild in the Klondike this winter. Wondrously, it only took two-and-a-half days to warm up St. Paul’s Anglican Church enough to have a comfortable ecumenical Christmas Eve pageant. The building is primarily heated by a large, hungry wood stove. After the chill is off, and the temperature is up to …

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In Bloom for Christmas

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens / Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens / Brown paper packages tied up with strings / These are a few of my favorite things.” So goes the delightful Christmas song. For Whitehorse florist, Crystal Rose, Christmas is more chaos than delight. The P.E.I. native opened her shop, …

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Claus for the Cause

Sometimes you experience things that you never would have expected.  I never thought I would be living above the Arctic Circle in Old Crow dressed as Santa while sitting in a sleigh with mush dogs towing me down the street.  Indeed, it wasn’t some bizarre dream; this year I was Saint Nick at the Parents …

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A Tough Nut to Crack

Nuts are a staple product come Christmas time. The Nutcracker ballet is a staple theatre production, too. Combine the two and you have yourself a merry little nutcracker soldier man. But where on earth did the nut-cracking device originate? Believe it or not, it goes back to pre-historic times. Ruins of stone nutcrackers go far …

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Jake: pet Santa

Jake will be getting presents from Santa Claus, and his dog, Spencer, will too. What about the dogs & cats at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter?

Bring back the light

In the dark days of winter, we could all stand to sing a page from the Swedish songbook; in particular, the tradition of Sankta Lucia, a celebration of light meant to ward off the evil spirits of darkness. Saint Lucy’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Lucy, is celebrated on December 13. This was the …

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Happiness is a Warm Bird

It’s a season of traditions, and for thousands of Canadians this means taking part in the annual Christmas Bird Count. Called the “longest-running science project in the world” by the Audubon Society, this annual winter event — the 115th — can be fun, and it also has a purpose. This year the Yukon Bird Club …

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Getting Ready for Christmas

It was December sometime in the mid-1950s. I was in the Baptist Mission School here in Whitehorse. Behind the fenced-in grounds of the school were several long buildings that were once used by the army. There also was the Army Theatre where we would perform our annual Christmas concert. We would practice in the long …

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Bands on the Run

Whether you attend December 15 or 16, Keith Todd promises that Music for a Winter’s Eve will be “a magical, festive night of music.” Todd is the musical director for the pre-Christmas presentation by the senior and junior concert bands from F.H. Collins and Porter Creek secondary schools, as well as the All-City Jazz Band. …

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The Nutcracker Comes to Dawson

The Nutcracker is coming to Dawson City just in time for the holidays. The Northern Lights School of Dance in Whitehorse is staging the traditional ballet on Saturday, December 6, at Diamond Tooth Gerties. Of the five years that the production has been coming to Dawson, the last three have brought a twist to the …

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Craft Boss

The Yukon is known for its craft fairs. From Dawson to Faro to Teslin, each community has its own craft niche. But when you get to Whitehorse, the niche transforms into something almost limitless called Spruce Bog. Entering its 39th year, Spruce Bog continues to grow. With its humble beginning at F.H. Collins, before moving …

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A Quiet Yukon Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the farm. Not a chicken was stirring, they’re all in the barn. All summer they roam, but when once the snow flies, our hens will not go out to where the snow lies. They scratch up the bedding and look for some treat; it might be a …

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Take Caroling a Step Further

Attention hearty Yukon yuletide carolers: prepare to step up your game. Whitehorse’s choir collective, Messiah Chorale, invites you to sing-a-long this solstice weekend. And not just to “O Come All Ye Faithful.” For the first time in Whitehorse, the audience will be singing along to Handel’s Messiah. Messiah is a mesmerizing English-language Baroque oratorio composed …

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A Turkey and Some Gifts Can Make a Big Difference

For more than a decade volunteers have been bringing bundles of stuff to hundreds of families in need around Whitehorse at Christmas — and making a second trip back to the car to get the rest. The children who receive those gifts don’t know their parents’ full situation, nor the care and generosity of hundreds …

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The purrrrfect portrait

Gerry Steers has the patience of a saint. The owner of Gerry’s Computer Magic spends her days doing what she loves best – photographing animals. But it’s not easy. “It’s a gift from God if they all stay still,” she says. “In fact, it’s almost impossible. You need a lot of patience. You have to …

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… You Know

The Dawson pre-Christmas season launched on Nov. 10 as the gym in the Robert Service School filled up for the Dawson Daycare’s Bazaar. This was the lead event in a series that will take place until first weekend in December. At least two others have now been announced, and sometimes another one creeps into the …

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Buys for Guys

You have a problem. Through no fault of your own you have acquired a “Guy.” This is to say a human male and not a “guy” in the old sense of the word (which, for those of you who don’t know, would be an effigy of noted explosives enthusiast Guy Fawkes). Your Guy could be …

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Countdown to the hoopla

When does Christmas start? Of course it is December 25, but when can the hoopla begin? Back in 1991, I was volunteered to play Santa Claus at Northern Stores’ “Christmas in July Sale.” I think it had something to do with the fact that it was my idea to help turn all of that left …

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Extreme Christmas Shopping

Let me begin by saying happy holidays to each and every one of you.  I know that gets said a lot this time of year but I wholeheartedly mean it. Not in the way that “jelly of the month club” voucher from the boss you’ve never seen does, but truly from the very bottom of …

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Pimp My Ice Shack for Christmas

Given that it had been a mild winter thus far, the thought of bone-chilling cold was not top of mind. Rather, I was preoccupied with first negotiating the time away from family obligations and, secondly, preparing for my first ice fishing trip of the year. The destination was Squanga Lake and the objective was jigging …

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Celebrating Traditions of the Holiday Season

There are few holidays more revered in tradition than Christmas. In our hearts and minds, Christmas holds a special place all its own. For most of us, we recall the traditions of Christmas as nostalgia that takes us back to our childhood. Christmas traditions connect us to our past. Through the brightness of the Christmas …

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Christmas Comes to This

My best Christmas ever felt humdrum and boring at first. I was a first-year university student in a Greyhound bus for 10 hours to spend Christmas with her grandparents and parents, instead of jet-setting back to her hometown to visit old friends and revisit high school haunts. It was hot at my grandparents house, so …

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A Christmas Savoury

In Klondike days, the oldtimers would have used canned spinach to make this quiche. Today,  we have the luxury of being able to buy fresh spinach in the middle of a Yukon winter … how times have changed. This is a lovely and colourful dish that can be made in a traditional quiche pan or …

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Home for Christmas

“You pour the brandy on the pudding and set fire to it?! You English are strange”. Whitehorse in the snowy grip of Winter 2001. Basement apartment. Our first Christmas together as a married couple. Our first Christmas away from home. What was originally conceived as a wildly adventurous honeymoon destination had morphed into a sojourn: …

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Kissing Underneath the Mistletoe

Long been a symbol of the holiday season, the infamous mistletoe — or modern-day kissing ball — has been placed in doorways and arches the world around. Kissing underneath the mistletoe is a sign of love, romance and prosperity. Christmas has a wide range of customs and traditions from many cultures and the meaning of …

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Anatomy of a Christmas Kindness

A battle is raging inside the F.H. Collins Gadzoosdaa Student Residence common room. Potato, turnip and carrot skins fly across the tabletop as 18 busy hands, armed with peelers, attack an army of vulnerable vegetables. The veggie numbers are overwhelmingly intimidating with another 50-pound box waiting in reserve. But as another defeated, skinned potato is …

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Artrepreneur: Bike Shop Makes Room for ‘The Gritty Gallery’

There’s a new gallery in town … but only for a little while. Five artists will display their artwork in Philippe’s Bicycle Repair during the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Photographer Mario Villeneuve, painter Nicole Bauberger (ahem, me), assemblage artist Scott Price and metal sculptors Katherine Alexander and Philippe LeBlond met in LeBlond’s bike …

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Dawson Looks After Those in Need

Food banks often start with the churches, which are acting out their faith’s instructions to look after the poor. In Dawson, the Transients’ Dinners that take place during the month of May are run by all the churches working together, using the available space and kitchen at St. Mary’s Catholic Church to make sure that …

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Following a Festive Tradition

One of my favourite traditions of the holiday season is planting containers of amaryllis bulbs. The amaryllis is a beautiful and fascinating bulb. Among the easiest of bulbs to grow indoors, the amaryllis is enjoyed for the incredible trumpet-shaped flowers in an array of festive colours. The amaryllis flower grows on tall stems surrounded by …

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Mistletoe Made Merry!

Kissing underneath the mistletoe is among the most favourite of traditions celebrated during the holiday season. But where did this unique symbol of the season come from? The interesting telltale folklore of the mistletoe dates back well into the Victorian age. Mistletoe has as many customs and traditions from various cultures as the meaning of …

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Christmas for Farmers

I love Christmas … the lights that light up Main Street, the smells of Christmas baking, the excitement of wrapping up secrets and putting them under the tree. I love just about everything about Christmas … except the commercialization of it. So when doing my shopping, I try to look for things that haven’t been …

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Christmas Concert is Caliente, Caliente, Caliente

Barbara Chamberlin is loving the wordplay surrounding the Whitehorse Community Choir’s upcoming Christmas show, Christmas Caliente. “It’s music to warm your soul,” she says deliciously. “To warm your Christmas.” Perhaps it should be explained here that “Caliente” is Spanish for “hot”. “Throw away the cold when you walk into the Yukon Arts Centre,” she says, …

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Christmas Cacti

As we approach the festive holiday season, the Christmas cacti comes into full bloom, illuminating holiday dècor with its exotic and abundant blossoms. This full-spectrum flowering plant often blooms just twice per year (most commonly prior to Easter and then again at Christmas), making this prodigious blooming plant symbolic of the nearing of Christmas. With …

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Play makers: Get your craft on

Hockey players can craft, too. That is the message from Arlin McFarlane, artistic director for Yukon Educational Theatre’s Inzanity Wing, the backbone behind this year’s new Santa Parade “Winterval”. McFarlane is calling on hockey players and all members of the community to come down before Dec. 3 to the Old Fire Hall, in Whitehorse (before …

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Magical Christmas Mantels

When I was a child, my father built a 12-foot-long stone fireplace in the centre of our living room. Little did I know, at the time, that this fireplace would become the special place where we would display family mementos and treasured holiday collectibles, creating lasting memories for generations. In many homes, the mantelpiece tops …

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Gifts for Wine Lovers

As the Christmas and holiday season roll around, several friends have asked me for gift suggestions for the wine enthusiasts on their gift list. Without knowing the wine tastes of their enthusiast friends, I am hesitant to suggest a particular wine, but often suggest wine-related items that have caught my attention and are available locally. …

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Artrepreneur: A Visual Feast … and Then Some

Arts Underground was packed on Nov. 20. Not only was the Yukon Art Society Christmas show opening, but Yukon Women in Music was holding a fundraising auction there, the same night. Local artists and businesses had decorated birdhouses. Northerm Windows adorned a birdhouse with glass mosaic and frosted mirrored walls. Kim Beggs’ surreal and whimsical …

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The Sacred Flower of Christmas

The revered holiday poinsettia is among the most-beautiful and significant flowering plants of the holiday season. Also known as the Christmas star or Christmas Flower, the poinsettia has history rich with tradition and meaning. One of my favourite Christmas stories tells of the humble beginnings of the Mexican poinsettia flower. The story tells of a …

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Wine Throughout the Year

As we race toward Christmas and the new year of promise that follows, I can’t help but reflect on the wonderful and poignant experiences that have transpired over these last 12 months. Post-Christmas, last year, began with a wonderful evening among friends at a cabin in Tagish, meeting and making new and special friends and …

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Families and Christmas Trees: All Shapes and Size

On the first Sunday after southern Yukon’s cold snap waned, my roommates and I piled into Jayden Soroka’s Subaru and headed down the Fish Lake road in search of a household Christmas tree. We pulled up beside a large drift, tightened our boots and barreled into the untouched, highway-side snow — smiles on faces. A …

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A Neophyte’s Guide to Christmas Cookies

Among the reasons I know I’ve turned into my mother: the cookies. Yes, I am the middle-aged mother who bakes only sugarless, oatmeal-raisin cookies. This may be the reason I’m simultaneously fascinated with, and grateful for, the Christmas cookie mania that overtakes many friends and colleagues this time of year. I have heard of mythical …

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Dear Mister Ed

If I recall it rite, it was that young lad Forest Gumpp that said “Life is like a crate of onions. You don’t know what you got till you start peelin’.” Thats kinda how it seems hereabouts of late, with Eva all hett up to become a one womman food bank and fix the hole …

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The Indoor Living Christmas Tree

The Norfolk Island pine is a popular and spirited plant that has adapted to many indoor living spaces. Enjoyed for its close similarity to an outdoor evergreen tree, the Norfolk Island pine vastly resembles the spirited Christmas tree. The lush, soft needles are perfect for displaying holiday ornaments, garlands and bows. A plant that will …

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Wine for a Winter’s Eve

So now the rich, velvety darkness of the Yukon winter has descended and the temperatures at my cabin have dropped below minus 20, several evenings. And yet, it is probably my favourite time of year here. The blue lights are strung in the trees along Main Street and are alight by 4 p.m., as the …

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Cranberries Colour Christmas

The bright-red colour and tart flavour of Yukon cranberries complements Christmas feasts  beautifully. For a change, try baking cranberry sauce ahead of the big day. Adding thyme and some Northern sage imparts a nice woodsy mellowness. Cranberry-Orange Squares are a welcome treat on your cookie tray and make up quickly with the use of a …

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Lights of Life … for everyone

A four-foot-something tree, adorned with angels, captures my attention as I enter Hospice Yukon. The lighting is soft and I am greeted warmly as I step through the door. Evelyn Kaltenbach, a volunteer who is finishing her training in Compassionate End of Life Care and Bereavement Support, smiles as she offers her hand, then leads …

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Beloved Nutcracker Ballet draws audience into the seats … and onto the stage

There is no surer sign of the holiday season than the annual staging of The Nutcracker. The Northern Lights School of Dance is presenting the traditional ballet on December 2, in Dawson City and on December 7 and 8, in Whitehorse. This is the fourth year that this holiday favourite will be performed in Dawson, …

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The Claus Expose: Santa Dishes on Doubters, Believers, the Unwilling and More

The Job My Santa adventures in the Yukon began when George Green needed a Santa for an Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon fundraiser at Hougen’s Department Store in Whitehorse. George asked me, as a white-bearded fellow, if I could help them out for a particular Friday night. I explained I was tied up that night …

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Just Do It and Do It and Do It

Pam Charmin is a night owl. As organizer of the Yukon Craft Society’s annual Spruce Bog craft sale, she has to be. Charmin joined the society two years after its founding 35 years ago. She inherited the mantle as organizer of the society’s annual sale in 1991, when her predecessor left the Yukon for medical …

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Christmas treat sales help seniors

Finnish sweet buns with finely ground cardamom, shortbread, chocolate-chip cookies and Finnish sugar-cinnamon cookies — Ann Dibbs’ husband Al delivers a plateful to the table and pours cups of sweet and spicy tea. “He’s my English butler,” Ann laughs. Ann Dibbs, a.k.a. the Lions Club Cake Lady, has a penchant for sweet treats and a …

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Choir is Ready to Get You Into Christmas Spirit

For some Yukoners, there are only two seasons: summer and choir. The four choirs of the Whitehorse Community Choir (WCC) reconvened in September, and, for the better part of three months, members have been rehearsing for this year’s Christmas concert entitled “Let it Snow.” You can hear the 120 dedicated members of the WCC at …

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Festival of Trees Offers Several Events to Light Up the Season

There’s nothing like the fun of picking out and decorating the perfect Christmas tree to put you in the holiday spirit. But if one tree can put you in the holiday spirit, what will 30 do? The NorthwesTel Festival of Trees is gearing up for their annual kick-off to the holiday season from Nov. 22 …

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Festive Cake Balls

Keep your balls cold, and the chocolate will coat them nicely. I’m talking with Shelley Hakonson in her chocolate-aroma’d kitchen one afternoon when she demonstrates this piece of wisdom by making a tray full of cake balls. These are a nice replacement for classic rum balls – lighter in texture because their insides have more …

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Tidings of Hops and Barley

It’s the season to eat, drink and be merry with friends and love ones. So what if we told you that you could kill two birds with one stone (the ‘eating and drinking’ bit), which would just leave you with the ‘being merry’ part? As our Christmas pressie to you, we have gift-wrapped a wonderful …

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Developing a Painless Pageant

BC Radio One has been running a survey to find out when people think it would be okay to play Christmas music, and a lot of the on-air replies seem to think that December 24 would be just fine. I suspect it’s not that people actually know the difference between Advent and Christmas, but that …

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I Really Don’t Like Xmas

A new writer submitted a story the other day. A good story, too: well-written, informative, witty. But something in the first paragraph hit one of my uh-uh buttons. What made the veins on my forehead throb was a single word: Xmas. I really, really do not like Xmas. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing …

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Santa Claus, Pet Whisperer

Is Logan sick of getting the same old moose bones every year? Would Fluffy like a pink rhinestone-studded collar, or is beaver skin more her style? Okay, your furry friends won’t actually be able to tell Santa what they’d like for Christmas, but that shouldn’t stop you from bringing them to Peabody’s Photo Parlour in …

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Meat, My Friend, Bessie

My name is Anthony, and I love meat. This past holiday season I was granted a Christmas miracle: a miracle of the meaty kind. Some friends and I were pulling into Edmonton from a stand-up comedy gig in High Level, Alberta. For those geographically challenged, that’s an eight-hour drive, straight up, pretty much scraping the …

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Handmade for Christmas

Georgi Pearson’s job keeps her up at night. Fortunately, she loves what she does so much that a bit of lost sleep seems a reasonable occupational hazard. Pearson is a prolific seamstress, who is participating in three craft fairs in the lead-up to Christmas. She’s been working steadily these past few months in preparation for …

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Christmas on the Farm

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh, o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way, ha, ha ha. Bells on bobtail ring making spirits bright, what fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight….” This is a common Christmas song heard at this time of year. And while most …

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Festive Food Fare

Spinach Pie This is called Spinach Pie in my house, but it’s actually a no-crust quiche. My mom makes this for me when I visit, a tradition that started in my early 20s when she worried that I lived on Diet Coke and candy. It’s delicious, healthy, easy to make and a whole pie can …

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Time for Time Out

Once the flurry of pre-Christmas activities dies down, there’s no need to feel bored just because school is out and you have a few days off work. For our last edition of 2011, What’s Up Yukon took a quick snapshot of some seasonal activities that might interest you. For the artistically or historically inclined, why …

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Counting Birds: A Christmas Tradition

You may be familiar with the partridge in the pear tree and the two turtle doves – counting birds is a longstanding Christmas tradition. The first official Christmas Bird Count (CBC), however, was started in 1900, after American ornithologist Frank Chapman decided to count birds instead of kill them (the annual “side hunt” was a …

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The Christmas Visitor

Grateful isn’t a word that automatically springs to mind when I think about myself as a child. My family wasn’t awash in money, but there was always food on the table and our home was always warm, thanks to our wood stove. I didn’t give much thought to what it would feel like to go …

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High-Tech Christmas on a $100 Budget

As Christmas approaches I am frequently asked, “What do you get for that special someone at Christmas who is interested in astronomy without spending a small fortune?” For the beginner, I recommend the classic 10×50 binoculars and a subscription to Sky News magazine. If you can’t find binoculars in this price range, grab your computer …

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Lots of Snow in the Klondike

welcome to a new year of news and musing from the Klondike, where the most descriptive word for the several weeks seems to be “snow”. It’s ironic since I’ve only lately written a piece for another publication explaining that great amounts of snow at one time are rare here. It seems to have been snowing …

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Gearing Up for Christmas

With Christmas soon arriving I am usually bombarded with emails enquiring, what is the best gift this season for a budding Yukon amateur astronomer? The first suggestion would be to recommend a subscription to Sky News Magazine. This magazine can be purchased at the local book store. Full of helpful star charts and easy-to-understand descriptions, …

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