Holiday favourites and recommendations from CTV Windsor staff
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cat in the Hat Productions)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The holidays are different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the best of the season.
CTV Windsor staff members are sharing their favourite movies, books, songs, food and other holiday traditions.
Jim Crichton, CTV Windsor anchor, News at Six
Favourite Christmas movie: ‘Christmas in Connecticut’. This may be a little obscure, but I’m a big Barbara Stanwyck fan. It’s a Christmas comedy of errors. Her character is a single newspaper columnist who paints a perfect picture of a house in the country, adoring husband, Christmas dinner, chestnuts roasting on the open fire and presents under the tree. It’s all a fiction. Then her publisher announces, sounds nice, he’s coming for Christmas!
The first Christmas song I can remember was Perry Como, singing (There’s no Place like) Home for the Holidays. Things were simpler then. My parents played it on a portable ‘Seabreeze’ record player. 45 and 33 1/3rd.
Memory: being unable to sleep Christmas Eve as a child, and waking my parents up repeatedly. Also the smell of oranges Christmas morning.
Favourite Christmas activity: assisting in the telling of the Nativity story at church on Christmas Eve.
Favourite meal (at Christmas or anytime) Roast beef and my Mom’s Yorkshire pudding. (My wife’s homemade shortbread is a close second in the ‘taste’ department.
Favourite Christmas drink: Johnny Walker Green with eggnog.
Stefanie Masotti – CTV Windsor anchor, Weekends at Six
Favourite Holiday Movie: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Love! Almost as much as watching the Nutcracker Ballet in New York City during the Holiday Season.
Favourite Holiday Book: “The Night Before Christmas” I vividly remember trying to recite it perfectly every year as a child.
Favourite Song: “The Tenor’s Wonder of Christmas Tour” comes to Caesars Windsor every holiday season. This kicks off my holiday season. If I had to choose one song from the concert it is Santa’s Wish (Teach the World).
Favourite Food: Every year I bake Salted Caramel Cookies. This year my family requests I bake them and drop them off on their porch.
Favourite Holiday Special: I always jam to Mariah Carey during the holidays. Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special (2020) will get you up on your feet and dancing.
Sijia Liu, CTV Windsor anchor, News at 11
Favourite Holiday Movie: The Best Man Holiday
Favourite Holiday Book: The Book of Luke in the Bible
Favourite Holiday Song: Let it Snow – Boyz II Men feat. Brian McKnight
Favourite Holiday Food: Gingerbread cookies
Favourite Holiday Special: NBA Christmas Day games
Michelle Maluske, CTV Windsor assistant news director and reporter
Favourite Holiday Movie: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation : I relate to Clark Griswolds affection for exterior illumination and throwing a big, fun old-fashioned family Christmas (minus the broken windows, SWAT team takedown, power cord failure, snobby neighbours, over-cooked turkey and wobbly knoll-posts)
Favourite Holiday Book: Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas : I read this book to my first born, so much that by the time she was 2 she could “read” most of it (disclaimer : she wasn’t reading it, she had it memorized from repetitive bed time story cuddles, sometimes in the off-season)
Favourite Holiday Song: Silent Night : growing up in Pembroke, I could sing this in French & English because my family went to mass in both languages and now its the final song at our Owen Sound church’s candlelight Christmas Eve mass (Song runner-up : I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas : because its just plain silly and fun)
Favourite Holiday Food: tortiere (french for meat pie) growing up on French Hill Farms, as part of the 5th generation Godin to operate a beef farm, you can’t have Christmas without tortiere! Its my Dad’s specialty and as I’ve now learned, its a very simple recipe handed down over the years : ground beef & pork, spices, pastry and little bit of spices. Delicious!
Favourite Holiday Special: our daughters’ figure skating club always puts on a Holiday Skate for the parents to see their progress in their routines plus the Coaches spend time choreographing special group routines with new costumes (I realize now that this can’t happen this year, how much it signalled the start of our Holidays... but theres always next year! #thistooshallpass)
Rich Garton, CTV Windsor reporter
Holiday Movie: Christmas Vacation. “We’re gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas!”
Holiday Book: The Grinch who Stole Christmas. “This book contains so many lessons – that Christmas is about the people around you, not just the trimmings and trappings. But it also teaches you that even the coldest of hearts can grow three whole sizes!”
Holiday Song: Silent Night. “The song gets me every time. My daughters sang it in the car every morning after learning it for their Christmas pageant. Gets me every time.”
Holiday Food: Kransekake. It’s a Norwegian delicacy, translated to ‘wreath cake.’ “That’s literally what this is: a sugary, marzipan almond mountain of rings that is never big enough to make it past Boxing Day.”
Holiday Special: Michael Buble Christmas Special. “The guy is a crooner who brings his own flavour to the holiday classics without changing them beyond recognition.”
Chris Campbell, CTV Windsor reporter
Favourite Holiday Movie: Christmas with the Kranks. That Hickory Honey Ham scene gets me every time!
Favourite Holiday Book: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. “When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and...and Eddie with a man in his pajamas and a dog chain tied to his wrist and ankles. What the...?”
Favourite Holiday Song: Mele Kalikimaka... it’s the thing to say.
Favourite Holiday Food: Ferrero Rocher
Favourite Holiday Special: The Dean Martin Christmas Show
Angelo Aversa, CTV Windsor reporter
Favourite Holiday Movie: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles “John Candy and Steve Martin. A comedic masterpiece. Yes, this is more a Thanksgiving movie, but my holiday favourite!”
Favourite Holiday Song: Do They Know It’s Christmas Time, Band Aid “Great collaboration between UK artists.”
Favourite Holiday Food: Seafood. “There is no comparison to a Christmas Eve dinner in the Aversa household. Growing up in an Italian family, the menu consisted of mainly seafood dishes (and pasta of course!)
Favourite Holiday Special: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. “Got the VHS tape when I was a kid and I couldn’t turn it off.”
Ricardo Veneza, CTV Windsor reporter
Favourite Holiday Movie: Home Alone/Elf – “Don’t make me choose!”
Favourite Holiday Book: How the Grinch Stole Christmas – “His heart grew three sizes! How can you not love that?”
Favourite Holiday Song: Feliz Navidad – “There are other Christmas songs?”
Favourite Holiday Food: Bacalhau com Natas (Portuguese for ‘Cod with Cream’) – “I’m going back to the old country for this pick. This is a staple of my family’s Christmas dinner table; a mixture of salt cod, potatoes and heavy cream – you can’t go wrong.”
Favourite Holiday Special: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – “This is essential Christmas viewing and probably what I’ve watched most come the holidays, which both frightened ‘I’m looking at you abominable snowman’ and entertained ‘Yukon Cornelius FTW.’”
Alana Hadadean, CTV Windsor reporter
Favourite Holiday Movie: A Christmas Story...who doesn’t love Ralphie - the soap eating, shoot your eye out, blue eyed boy!
Favourite Holiday Book: Santa’s Underwear or How to Catch an Elf - I have three boys... the funnier and quirkier the story, the better!
Favourite Holiday Song: Happy Xmas (War Is Over) "So this is Christmas..." you can finish the rest.
Favourite Holiday Food: Panettone - Italian Christmas sweet bread... there is no better Italian way to wish a happy holiday season!
Favourite Holiday Special: It’s a tie between... Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. So many wonderful childhood memories counting down the days to watch these two Christmas classic TV shows.
Kristin Wever, Regional News Director, Radio & Local TV, London/Kitchener/Windsor
Favourite Holiday Movie: Elf – who doesn’t love Buddy? (but no one loves maple syrup on spaghetti…I also don’t support colossal burps at the dinner table)
Favourite Holiday Book: The Polar Express – love the movie too.
Favourite Holiday Song: I second White Christmas on this (I have never seen the movie)
Favourite Holiday Food: Gingerbread cookies/houses. Chewy, not crunchy
Favourite Holiday Special: The Grinch (original – no Jim Carrey…though the new animated one wasn’t bad).
Jennifer McLellan, general manager, radio and TV - Southwestern Ontario
Favourite Holiday Movie – Elf
Favourite Holiday Book – Twas the night before Christmas.
Favourite Holiday Song – Grandma got run over by a reindeer….my grandma hated when I sang this….she would get so mad.
Favourite Holiday Special – All Hallmark Movies – with my hallmark watching movie blanket
Dan Cress, CTV Windsor news director
Favourite Holiday Movie: White Christmas – “It’s not Christmas until Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen sing in Santa costumes as the snow falls gently at the “ideal” holiday inn. Our family has watched this movie so many times I think we could re-enact it line for line.”
Favourite Holiday Book: The Hockey Sweater – “Not necessarily a holiday book, but it is about a Christmas present, a beautiful Toronto Maple Leafs Sweater, and I always related to the little boy as the “winter’s of my youth were spent on the skating rink” too.”
Favourite Holiday Song: “See above, White Christmas, of course! May all your Christmases be white!”
Favourite Holiday Food: Fruit Cake – “It get’s a bad wrap (and the store bought bricks deserve it), but my mother’s homemade Christmas Cake is a hot commodity at our families get-togethers.”
Favourite Holiday Special: “Toss up between 60’s classics- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Have to have one of these on while decorating the tree!”
Melanie Borrelli, CTV Windsor digital lead, web writer
Favourite Holiday Movie: Home Alone and Christmas Vacation. “We have watched these movies hundreds of times and they still are entertaining. My brother even has moose glass mugs like the one in Christmas Vacation that we use for egg nog!”
Favourite Holiday Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, “It’s not exactly about the holidays, but it does start with the March sisters spending their first Christmas without their father and ends the next year when he returns on Christmas Day.”
Favourite Holiday Song: Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. “My Mom and I always played this song when we were decorating the Christmas tree.”
Favourite Holiday Food: Definitely my mom’s tarts and shortbread! “My mom mailed some Christmas baking this year since we couldn’t travel home for Christmas due to COVID.”
Favourite Holiday Special: How the Grinch Stole Christmas “My kids ask for this one every year! We all like different versions though.”
Lindsay Chartlon, CTV Windsor web writer
Favourite Holiday Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life... We usually watch this one every Christmas morning. I love a good tear-jerker and this one fits the bill. Close contender is the Nightmare Before Christmas, even the people of Halloween want that holiday joy!
Favourite Holiday Book: The Little Crooked Christmas Tree, the art in this book is beautiful and the story is about a tree learning her purpose, it’s very sweet.
Favourite Holiday Song: Fairytale of New York. It became somewhat of a tradition to do a karaoke night near the holidays and this is a must! (It is not exclusive to Christmas, we also sing this in July)
Favourite Holiday Food: Cannoli, while maybe not a “holiday food” they are always a staple at our family Christmas.
Favourite Holiday Special: A Charlie Brown Christmas – this little kid all depressed at the commercialism of the holiday season and finding the saddest little tree because it “needs us” gets me every time!