The annual Christmas reading night was held through a live stream broadcast for this year only due to the COVID-19 regulations. The evening usually features a full audience listening to Christmas stories followed by entertainment and visiting after the performance.
"For four years now, we have held an in-person Christmas reading night here at the Trinity United Church in Preeceville," said Miles Russell, one of the organizers. "Over the past four years, we have read the stories A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; The Best Christmas Pageant by Barbara Robinson and last year a collection of stories from different countries of the world.
“Through these evenings we have provided peacefulness, laughter and loved-filled times in our Christmas season. We distributed the proceeds from the free-will offering at the door to our local Family Resource Centre and Filling the Gap Christmas hamper programs. We hope you will still support those causes this Christmas and send a donation as you are able, just as you would have done if sitting with us in person in the church," said Russell.
This year the readers were Sheila Ivanochko and Russell, who shared some stories from The Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean. Karolyn Kosheluk provided the music interlude and Laura Davis was responsible for the live streaming the performance online.
Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe is a wonderful Christmas tradition for many Canadians. The story focused on a character named Dave, the owner of a vintage record store, his wife Morley and their children Stephanie and Sam as well as a host of neighbours and friends. It all started the year Dave cooked the family turkey, that was the very first Vinyl Cafe Christmas story. The story turned Christmas into a deal for them.
The Vinyl Cafe aired weekly on CBC Radio, on select public radio stations in the United States, and via podcast. The radio show was written and hosted by the late Stuart McLean and featured stories, essays and music, often recorded at live concerts from across Canada and the US. It was on the air from 1994 to 2016.
The motto of Dave's store – and of the radio show – is "We May Not Be Big, But We're Small."
The Vinyl Cafe has been broadcasted on CBC radio for years with many tours across Canada. The annual Christmas stories became one of many traditions and over the next 21 years the annual Christmas concerts grew from just one Christmas show to a 36-show national tour.