Meaghan Blanchard creates festive atmosphere in her Down Home Christmas show at Harmony House Theatre tonight
Meaghan Blanchard will bring Christmas magic to her holiday show, Down Home Christmas with Meghan Blanchard and Friends, today at Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River. The show is sold out. GUARDIAN PHOTO BY SALLY COLE
Growing up, Christmas Eve was always a magical time for Meaghan Blanchard.
“As little kids we would sing at midnight mass. When it was our turn, my sister and I would get up and sing O Holy Night. It was always so nice to be around family and the community. Grammy would always be singing with the choir,” says Blanchard, who attended St. Ann’s Church in Hope River.
When church was over, they would pile into the family’s Oldsmobile and head back home to Hunter River to feast on her mother’s homemade ham and scallop potatoes.
“Then came the fun part. Grammy would pull a cake out of the oven, write Happy Birthday Jesus on it and we’d eat it along with some other sweets.
“By the time we went to bed we were completely high on sugar,” says Blanchard, with a laugh.
But the thing that she remembers most is the feeling of that night.
“The excitement ....the wonder. It was always a magical part of my life to look back on,” says the award-winning singer-songwriter who is hoping to create the same vibe during her holiday show, Down Home Christmas with Meaghan Blanchard and Friends, at Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River tonight. (Please note, the show now is sold out.)
“In other years, I’ve done a full Christmas show with a big band. But this year I’m pulling it back and making it more intimate through storytelling, songs and the way we put the set together,” says Blanchard, adding the set list includes O Holy Night, Santa Baby, Rock Around the Christmas Tree, Go Tell it On the Mountain and more.
“The show will go from Christmas Eve to Christmas love songs to Christmas office party songs. Then we’ll do some Christmas morning songs, so we’ll take the audience through that whole Christmas journey,” she says.
The show will also feature some surprise guests.
“I don’t want to give too many secrets away because I want it to be a surprise for family and community members,” she says.
In sharing her songs and stories, she’s hoping they’ll resonate with others.
“We’re hoping that the show will help put everyone in the Christmas spirit. It’s going to be fun and very down home in my own hometown,” says Blanchard.
After spending Christmas at home, what’s next for the P.E.I. chanteuse?
“I’m going to be doing a 15-date house concert series in February in Ontario.
“I’ll also be going to the United Kingdom in 2014 and recording a Christmas album for the 2014 celebration of Christmas. Then there are all the 2014 celebrations coming up that I’m involved in.
“I’ve just taken out a full year’s worth of travel insurance, which is an indicator of how busy the year will be. I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s so nice to have somewhere to be,” she says.
Sally Cole is a features writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.