Christmas Posts

The Nutcracker Christmases

Christmas gives me the blues. I miss the magic of childhood Christmases spent with my siblings, and I miss the magic of Christmas mornings I spent with my young children. I miss family and friends who have passed away, and the special Christmas traditions we had. Because nothing stays the same, nostalgia can be heart-wrenching.

So, I’m weaving some new traditions into some old ones.

The Nutcracker of the Past

When I was in my twenties, my mother-in-law took me to my first ballet, along with my two sisters-in-law. It was December, so of course, we went to The Nutcracker. I loved it. For two hours enchanting music, graceful dancing, sparkling costumes, and magical sets swept me away to another world. Attending The Nutcracker with my mother-in-law became a tradition for a handful of years.

This year I took my twelve-year-old granddaughter, Clara, to see The Nutcracker, her first ballet. My mother-in-law would be happy to know I’m reviving her tradition. If life were A Christmas Carol, my mother-in-law would have been Fred, the ever-cheerful nephew of Ebenezer Scrooge. She knew how to keep the spirit of Christmas in her heart all year long and how to rise above characters like Scrooge.

Mom Versus Reality: Holiday Edition

Comedian Mary Mack presents this short holiday video as a gift to you, noting “I think it may be one of those ‘if you know, you know’ things.”

Sydney Hansen – “Kringle Tingle”

Duluth native Sydney Hansen has a new, original Christmas song. “Kringle Tingle” was written with Corey Lee Barker and produced by Kent Wells.

Shippee – “To You: (Merry Christmas)”

Duluth’s Blake Shippee has a new Christmas song. The video is directed by Lance Lindahl.

Duluth: Where it’s Christmas every day for a month

1970 promotional ad for Duluth.

Breanne and Anya Tepler – “It’s Time to Go to Bentleyville”

It’s not quite time to go to Bentleyville yet, but members of the Tepler family have a new music video ready for when Duluth’s annual holiday light display opens Nov. 18.

Selective Focus: Boubville 2022

Ollie Morris (left) helped curate the tree (behind) that’s spoofing the one found at Bentleyville. (Photo by Jess Morgan)

Described as a “punk version of Bentleyville,” Boubville is a winter celebration centered around connection and play between artists as they imitate the light displays found the Bentlyville “Tour of Lights.” The event is also functioning as a fundraiser for the Embassy art collective. Despite the recent blizzard, Duluthians looking to connect and dance still made it over to the first night of Boubville.

The Embassy presents Boubville

Duluth’s finest art cult, the Embassy, is planning an unusual fundraiser. WDSE-TV‘s Julie Zenner and Dennis Anderson chat with Emily Koch and Zanta about the irreverent version of a holiday festival called Boubville in this Almanac North segment.

PDD Quiz: Holiday Tunes

Whip up a Tom & Jerry, spin a festive record, and settle in for this week’s quiz about local(ish) holiday tunes!

The final PDD quiz of the year will look back at headlines from 2022; it will be published on Dec. 25. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Dec. 21.

Traditional Christmas folk musical stylings of Goat Hill Quartet

On Saturday, I was at Wussow’s for coffee, and midway through the morning Goat Hill Quartet appeared. The group’s traditional Christmas folk musical stylings raised money for Loaves and Fishes.

Roy Halvorson: Christmas Tree King

From the December 1957 issue of Flying magazine, “the world’s most widely read aviation magazine,” comes the story of Duluth’s Roy Halvorson, “Christmas Tree King.”

Emily Haavik – “All is Bright”

Duluth native Emily Haavik released an original holiday song and music video today. A group of her friends recorded segments to help put the video together. Haavik performs the song with Phil Miller on cello and Dave Mehling on bass and guitar. The mix is by Mehling and the mastering by Eric Martin. Proceeds from downloads go to help Haavik’s friend Sonya Goins fight breast cancer.

Bentleyville 2021 Aerial Video

Videographer Adam Jagunich flies his Yuneec Typhoon H Plus hexacopter over Bayfront Park in Duluth during the Bentleyville Christmas light display while the bulk carrier Drawsko sails under the Aerial Lift Bridge and into the Duluth Harbor.

For ghosts of Christmas’ past, check out “A Perfect Duluth Christmas: PDD’s Holiday Video Showcase.”

PDD Bandcamp Playlist: A Holiday Sampler

Assembled here for your holiday listening pleasure, a sampling of Christmas or “Christmasish” tunes by artists in the Duluth music scene. It’s not even close to a comprehensive collection of local holiday music, just a sampling of a few tunes available on Bandcamp.

PDD Quiz: Christmas 1921

This edition of Perfect Duluth Day’s quiz looks back at holiday headlines from 1921. All articles were published in the Duluth News Tribune (images – -which may or may not be helpful with guessing — appeared in the paper between 1885 and 1922).

The next PDD quiz will look back at local newsworthy events from 2021; it will be published on Dec. 26. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Dec. 22.