Dear Canada: A step back in time


A Christmas to Remember

A Christmas to Remember
Tales of Comfort and Joy

ISBN: 978-0-545-99003-5 Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4431-1997-9 Ebook
240 pages | Ages 9-12 | 5 3/8" x 7 5/8"

Find out what's happened in the lives of your favourite Dear Canada girls in this special collection of eleven original heartwarming tales of Christmas.

Table of Contents

"Untangling Christmas" by Jean Little, featuring Fiona Macgregor from If I Die Before I Wake.

"An Unexpected Visitor" by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, featuring Anya Soloniuk from Prisoners in the Promised Land.

"Something That Matters" by Carol Matas, featuring Devorah Bernstein from Turned Away.

"These Three Gifts" by Maxine Trottier, featuring Geneviève Aubuchon from The Death of My Country.

"When War Hits Home" by Julie Lawson, featuring Charlotte Blackburn from No Safe Harbour.

"Reading Henry" by Sarah Ellis, featuring Flora Rutherford from Days of Toil and Tears.

"The Daft Days of Christmas" by Julie Lawson, featuring Jenna Sinclair from Where the River Takes Me.

"Shirley Goodness" by Perry Nodelman, featuring Sally Cohen from Not a Nickel to Spare.

"A Time to Rebuild" by Maxine Trottier, featuring Josephine Bouvier from Blood Upon Our Land.

"Like a Stack of Spoons" by Jean Little, featuring Eliza Bates from Brothers Far From Home.

"Singing a Prayer" by Karleen Bradford, featuring Julia May Jackson from A Desperate Road to Freedom.

Read an excerpt

From A Christmas to Remember: Tales of Comfort and Joy

An Unexpected Visitor
Monday, December 18, 1916

Dear Irena,

My supervisor gave me a few sheets from his ledger book, so I can finally write to you and let you know everything that's been happening to me. I will keep these pages with me, and once I have filled them all I will mail them. Postage is so dear, after all. Write back when you are able. You are in my heart.

I think the supervisor feels sorry for me because I am sitting by myself at lunch yet again. Now that I am promoted, the other girls make strange with me. I don't mean Slava or Maureen. But since my promotion, we three no longer have lunch at the same time.

We have this huge order of infantry uniforms and it makes my head ache. The material is coarser than the ladies' blouses we usually sew, and the girls are not used to it. I cringe each time a needle pierces their fingertips. Only weeks ago, it was me at one of those machines.

As sad as I am for the girls, I cannot help but think of what these uniforms are being used for. So many people are still being sent across the ocean to fight in this terrible war. And what of our old country, Irena? I know that fighting is going on right in Ukraine. Will a Canadian soldier wearing one of these uniforms end up fighting my old neighbours in Horoshova?

The whistle has sounded. Must get back to work.

Before bed

Oy, Irena! Stefan showed me the coins he earned today! He sold all the scarves and every pair of mittens.

I am relieved. The last weeks had not been going well for Stefan's new business, but with Christmas near, it is picking up. He saves every penny he can.

It is so crowded in our flat with Baba, Mama, Tato and Mykola, of course, but add to that, Slava (will her father ever come home?) and Stefan, plus his mother and father. When his older brothers come home from the war, we'll be in a pickle. Where could they possibly sleep? At least with all these people, it's nice and warm even on the coldest nights.

Speaking of Stefan's brothers, he got a Christmas card from Ivan — that's the brother who calls himself John Pember. He is fighting in France. He decorated the card by stitching in patterns and words with red and green thread. He wrote in his regiment motto, Facta non verba, and also, Merry Christmas.

I do not know what Facta non verba means.

Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day. I can hardly wait! I have special gifts for everyone.

From Dear Canada: A Christmas to Remember, copyright © 2009 by Marsha Skrypuch.


I have read this book and it's REALLY REALLY REALLY good!!!!!!!!! You should read it some time.
Allison C., Age 10, Alberta, Rating: 10

I love this book! I especially liked Anya's part. If you love the series, you should definitely read this one!.
Kelsey D., Age: 12, British Columbia, Rating: 9

I loved this book because I got to learn all about some of the Christmas adventures I didn't get to read about in my books. I think it is a great way for us to learn about things that they did and how they did it.
Sarah M., Age: 14, Alberta, Rating: 10