Ninety-seven Christmases and counting

Paul Herridge
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Marystown senior recalls a time of little but ‘enough to do’

At 97-years-old, Annie Mae Brushett still loves a good scuff at Christmas, or any other time of the year for that matter!

Annie Mae Brushett, 97, said ‘mummering’ was the best part of Christmas when she was growing up in the Shoal Point area of Marystown.

The oldest member of the Marystown Lions Golden Age 50+ Club, on the women’s side, was looking forward to this past Saturday’s annual Christmas dinner and dance when The Gazette dropped by her Little Bay home for a visit last week.

Mrs. Brushett never turns down a lively waltz and a step dance never goes astray.

In fact, fellow club member Amy Farrell said Mrs. Brushett rarely misses the group’s weekly Saturday night dance, always dressed up for the occasion.

“She’s a pleasure to be around.”

Born in 1916, Mrs. Brushett grew up in the Shoal Point area of Marystown, in a big family with 11 children, and described Christmas as “best kind,” even though most people didn’t have very much but “enough to do.”

Sometimes there was a Christmas tree and sometimes a few decorations but not often.

In her stocking, she said the children “used to get a two-cent bar or candy, or an apple.”

Occasionally, Mrs. Brushett said she might receive a little doll as a present.

“We always had blood pudding when we came back from Midnight Mass.” Annie Mae Brushett

There was always plenty to eat – meat and homegrown vegetables – during Christmas, she said, between the birds, sheep, rabbit, cow, duck or pigs.

“We always had blood pudding when we came back from Midnight Mass.”

Mrs. Brushett, who raised a dozen children of her own, also recalled lots of ‘mummering’, the Christmas tradition of house visiting.

“When Christmas came, we used to get some clothes and put on to go mummering. Go right up to the head of the bay (Creston).”

It was the best part of Christmas, she said.

“The boys used to wear the girls’ clothes, and we’d put on the boys’ clothes. You didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy.”

In good health, Mrs. Brushett said she couldn’t remember the last time she was sick.

We should all be so lucky!

Organizations: Marystown Lions Golden Age 50, The Gazette, Creston

Geographic location: Marystown, Little Bay, Shoal Point

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Recent comments

  • Dawn Miller
    December 19, 2013 - 11:37

    It's so good to see you Nanny! You look wonderful. I always enjoy the stories and I'm proud you are sharing them with others. I love you...Have a great Christmas :)

  • Saralynn Cheeseman-Power
    December 18, 2013 - 11:02

    Thanks so much for writing this lovely article. She is an amazing lady with lots of stories to tell. As her grand child I enjoy hearing about the ways it was.