Christmas: three families open their doors to us

Marilou Gagnon-Thibault, 31, and Francis Lemire, 32, and their children, Juliette, 5, Charlotte, 3, and Arnaud, 1, grandparents, Yolande Gagnon, 59, Gérald Thibault, 63.

Three generations under the same roof

portneuf

For the Lemire-Gagnon-Thibault family, happiness comes from the family. A happiness so complete that eight years ago, Marilou and Francis chose to live with their parents, Yolande and Gérald. The two couples found the perfect house to adopt this way of life in Portneuf, a small town located 50 km from Quebec, in an area they called L’Écoferme des Générations. Together, they established an organic vegetable farm there. Three new little delights have also arrived to expand the family circle: Juliette, Charlotte and Arnaud. As here every day is savored as a family, at Christmas it will be the same!

For us family is…
The center of our existence. We are together in life and in death. In our intergenerational house, everyone has their place and if one of us is absent, the whole balance is upset.

Holidays are…
A break from work, a time in which we dedicate ourselves completely to the children. We can’t wait to start putting up the Christmas decorations at the end of September!

We will celebrate…
Here, because this house is made to welcome and accommodate everyone. Uncles, aunts, cousins ​​and friends will stay with us for several days.

A dish that will undoubtedly be on the table…
The list is long, because everyone cares about their gourmet pleasure. Among other things, there will be cipaille and egg jellies.

A tradition that we never repeal…
Wake up the kids at night to spy on Santa Claus. Hidden in the stairs, they watch him drop off the presents, eat some cookies, and then disappear into the night. Seeing his astonished faces is worth all the gold in the world.

The place of religion during the Holidays…
We are not religious but on the other hand, we maintain a certain spirituality around the magic of Christmas.

The values ​​we want to pass on to children…
The sense of family! Obviously, they develop it with our way of life.

A wish for next year…
May the joy of being together continue and may we give each other moments of rest, because between the farm and the children we work very hard.

family portrait for the holidays

Keithy Antoine, 50, and his children, Kaji, 18, and Nawej, 16, their mother, Marie-José Maxi, 76.

Ties stronger than anything

Montreal

Les Fêtes, chez les Antoine, is déroulent in a joyous mélange of Québécoise and Haitian traditions, because it is from the “Perle des Antilles” that Keithy is arriving in Québec, with his parents, in 1974. Elle n’avait alors that two years. Her brothers, Joël and Pierre, then her sons, Kaji and Nawej, were born here, but the family has never abandoned its Creole culture… nor its good food! Keithy now offers a showcase for Afro-Quebec fashion designers at his Boutique Espace Urbain, located on Place Saint-Hubert in Montreal.

For us family is…
A comforting space where we recharge and draw love.

Holidays are…
The opportunity to reconnect with others. Time flies and sometimes takes us away, that’s why we take advantage of the holidays to find ourselves in a festive atmosphere. Tree, Christmas stockings, music, gifts: let’s go all out!

Above all, we will celebrate…
1Ahem January, because it is also Haiti’s national holiday, which marks the moment the country gained its independence. Many Haitian families celebrate Christmas and this event at the same time.

A dish that will undoubtedly be on the table…
Joumou soup, a Haitian specialty made with giraumont [courge typique des Antilles] with vegetables, meat and many spices. Our mother prepares an indecent amount of food several days in advance. Is she her way of telling us how much she loves us.

A tradition that we never repeal…
Santa Claus ! Since my father died, it is Joël who assumes this role every year. He inherited our father’s great voice, perfect for embodying the character. (laughs)

The place of religion during the Holidays… With a Catholic father and a Protestant mother, we grew up with the idea that we can line up where it feels good. Bathing in this antinomy opened our minds a lot.

The songs we cover every year…
We draw inspiration from our family heritage again with a mix of Quebec, Evangelical and traditional Haitian music.

The values ​​we want to pass on to children…
The importance of traditions, because they are great opportunities to cultivate love.

A memorable Christmas or New Years keepsake…
Sometimes big disputes broke out. It hurts to be torn apart at a time as delicate as the holidays, but that’s the way it is: a word had to be released. After the storm there are always softer and more benevolent moments.

A wish we will make for next year…
The world is changing in a fun way with social media. But we want to keep getting together physically, because nothing is the same as contact with loved ones.

Christmas family portrait

Rébecca Kopka, 35, Enrico Vigneault, 41, and their children Logan, 9, Philippe, 7, and Claudia, 3. With the Marda-Gulieva family, from Vinnytsia, Ukraine: Samira Gulieva, 38, Youssef Marda, 31, and their son , Aslan, 11

At the crossroads of two worlds

sainte julie

The Vigneault-Kopkas are preparing to celebrate an unusual Christmas with the Marda-Gulievas, a Ukrainian family they welcomed into their home in Sainte-Julie last summer. After spending six weeks with their “adopted” family, Youssef, Samira and Aslan Marda-Gulieva found accommodation in Chambly. This will not prevent the two clans from meeting around the tree to celebrate this year lived under the sign of mutual aid and sharing.

For us family is…
A clan, which also includes the friends who have come into our lives. We are there for each other.

Holidays are…
A time dedicated to care and love.

We will celebrate…
At home, because we want to integrate Samira, Youssef and Aslan with the other members of our family.

A dish that will undoubtedly be on the table…
Eggs with tuna, a recipe from the late grandfather Kopka.

A tradition that we never repeal…
Prepare food baskets for the less fortunate. Last year, we delivered our packages to the A Gift for a Smile association, which distributes them to young people in Montérégie who don’t have the opportunity to be pampered at Christmas.

The topic we will avoid discussing…
None. With us there are no taboos. During the six weeks we lived with the Marda-Gulieva family, we had some differences regarding the children’s education, but we calmed them down by talking respectfully.

The place of religion during the Holidays…
We don’t practice, but we answer the children’s questions and we make a nursery in which we put money. It is a family tradition by which we wish each other prosperity for the coming year.

The values ​​we want to pass on to children…
Generosity.

A memory of this memorable year…
The day we picked up the Marda-Gulieva family at the airport last July. We all cry with emotion.

A wish we will make for next year…
Cultivate love and kindness by spending as much time as possible together as a family.

Leave a Comment