Teed family Christmas starts early and is full of music
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Teed family, which recently relocated to Benmiller, makes music, family, food and games a big part of Christmas every year, and that’s not likely a surprise to anyone who knows them.
Kim and Travis Teed, who lived near Auburn until recently, are well-known throughout the area for their musical endeavours, so it’s little surprise that music plays a big part in their celebration.
“A normal Christmas for us is a lot of music and we always host 30 people to a sit-down meal,” Travis said. “It’s a turkey meal - no questions asked - [including] stuffing, potatoes, turnips and the whole nine yards. My wife and I almost always host it.”
The meal, hosted on Christmas Eve, is always spent with as many members of their family as possible and features traditions like each attendee, both past and present, being immortalized with a personalized Christmas ball ornament on the tree.
“Because we’re musicians, there’s always tons and tons of music,” Travis said.
The family also reads a Christmas story, with each person taking a turn reading an excerpt.
The couple also used to revel in a huge Christmas tree. Every year they obtained and decorated a 12-foot tree. Their new home, however, doesn’t have the clearance for that, and a recently-discovered allergy has led to an artificial tree.
While some traditions change, others carry on, like the family traditions that Kim’s family have shared.
Her family’s practices included sleeping over at someone’s house to have Christmas morning together, something that the Teeds have continued. For Travis, the early traditions are tied to his family’s religious connections, as they always attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve while Christmas Day was the celebration of Jesus’ birthday.
In more recent years, however, the focus is more on family as the couple try to get as many people over as possible, have them stay over and enjoy family time together.
Christmas Day is marked with a brunch and a big meal as well as board games all day.
All those traditions, however, will be on hiatus this year as a Christmas under COVID-19 will definitely require modifications.
“We might be sitting by ourselves in front of the yule log on television,” Kim said.
“We’ve decided to abide by what the government wants and have a very quiet, lonely Christmas,” Travis said, adding it’s safer that way. The couple made the decision before Monday’s provincial announcement that almost everyone would need to spend Christmas in their homes as part of the province-wide lockdown.
“One blessing we do have this year is we did a recording for a virtual Christmas concert,” Travis said, pointing to recorded tunes that are going to be shared through the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and College’s Facebook page. “There’s a bunch of entertainers in Huron County getting together, virtually, for that.”
Christmas music and Christmas time are two of Travis’ favourite things, he said, adding that people call him Mr. Santa because of that and his uncanny ability to list off, any day of the year, how many more days it is until Christmas.
The couple was even recently featured in a story on the CBC for the work they did to spread Christmas cheer despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The couple played a concert for children at a daycare centre in Goderich through the window. The concert is keeping alive a tradition of the two playing Christmas music for years at daycare centres, care centres and hospitals.
The Teed house focus on Christmas begins on Nov. 1. As of that point, the television is stuck on the W Channel and the Hallmark Channels for Christmas shows and Christmas music is always heard throughout the house.
Christmas is also a time for celebrating in the community, Kim and Travis said, especially with their involvement in the Auburn Lions Club.
“[Auburn Lions Club members] get together with our spouses every year,” Travis said. “And, for I don’t know how many years, we have put on a Christmas concert to raise funds, though that hasn’t happened for the last couple years.”
The Lions Club also hosts Breakfast with Santa, which is a big event for the group.
“We do the pancake breakfast with Santa, though that isn’t happening this year either,” he said.
In place of the events, the club has started to sell pre-made, locally-sourced breakfast kits including pancakes, syrup and sausages. The kits have been a hit, Kim said, with orders coming in constantly.