Talk about your Christmas Traditions. For nearly six decades now folks from all over the Maritimes have been marking their calendars, making their plans and tuning in for all the merry magic of the Christmas Daddies Telethon. Some people watch for the very marvellous music others for the celebrity guests and cheque presentations while others schedule their family tree-trimming parties to coincide with all the fundraising fun. Whether you’re a telethon team member or a telethon tuner-inner it’s a day that EVERYONE looks forward to year after year. I’m hear to tell you I have such sweet memories of Christmas Daddies and I’m ever so grateful to the Cape Breton contingent for all the invites over the years. Great gratitude to Executive Producer Mary Murphy for always extending the invitation – and for her absolutely delicious Peanut Brittle (recipe below) just one of the many incredible treats to be found in the great big gift bag!
Have a look at this video – captured during my very first telethon back in 2010. SeaAndBeScene.com had just launched and I was thrilled to be invited up to the CTV studios in Sydney to co-host and perform a couple of Christmas songs with Fred Lavery and what I wholeheartedly regard as THE BEST BAND in show business. Ask anyone and they’ll agree!
Watching this Behind the Scenes Sights & Sounds video brings me right back to all of the excitement that truly continues year after year. The spirit of giving coupled with all that Cape Breton hospitality AND TALENT and well… it’s a pure joy that never leaves you. I’m so lucky to have fostered great friendships with those good folks. Friendships that have blossomed into some incredible collaborations. I’ve written 3 Christmas songs with Mr. Fred Lavery – “Christmas by the Sea” and “You Are My Christmas,” plus another tune called “I’ll Give You My Heart This Christmas” which Fred and I co-wrote with Aaron C. Lewis.
And since we’re on the subject of Aaron – I can tell you the most amazing part and that’s all the duets we’ve done together on the show. Duets that include everything from “There’s a New Kid In Town” (below) to “Remind Me” to “This is the Time” to our very own original. I should also let you know it’s because of our meeting and performing together on Christmas Daddies that Aaron asked me to sing with him on his debut album. You can hear the studio version of “Separate Lives” here. See what I mean lucky!!!
And while it was such a blast to perform with the band, it was a true treat to co-host portions of the live broadcast as well. It gave me a chance to share the mic and spread the word with great friends and fellow broadcasters like Janice Landry, Crystal Garrett, Jayson Baxter, and Kayla Hounsell as well as co-host with folks whose TV careers I’ve admired from afar like Jeff Hutcheson, Scott Boyd and Lisa LaFlamme. Plus team up with so many other awesome East Coast Folks and Kindred Spirits including Billy MacLellan, Heather Rankin, Bette MacDonald, Jenn Shepherd and the list goes on and on!
Naturally with all that music and dancing and oh my goodness the food you know The Sidekick was keen to get in on the celebration and I was always so proud to have her there. We’ll always treasure those Sweet memories of Christmas Daddies in Cape Breton – it sure does a heart good to give, but truth be told what we got in return is beyond measure. sb
2023 marks the 60th broadcast for CTV’s annual holiday fundraiser with the mandate to provide less fortunate children with gifts at Christmas including toys and food. Tune in from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, December 2nd and give as much as you’re able. For more information on Christmas Daddies – this year’s broadcast, past shows, guest information, how you can donate and more visit christmasdaddies.org.
Mary Murphy’s Legendary Peanut Brittle
Ask anyone and they’ll tell ya – Mary Murphy is just about as sweet a person as they come. And while I can confirm she’s a truly gifted, gracious and ever-so patient producer – her talent continues on in her confectionery skills to boot! I share this mouth-watering detail as I recall the first bite of her Peanut Brittle and the time spent in between telethons dreaming of the day when I could once again dive into that Spectacularly ‘Curated in Cape Breton’ Swag Bag I’d receive – complete with Mary’s monumentally delicious Peanut Brittle. Talk about your Sweet Memories of Christmas Daddies!!! Well wouldn’t ya know it – true to form – Mary was kind enough to share her recipe back in 2011 and boy was it popular. So much so that when it came time to reviewing all the recipes in the SeaAndBeScene.com vault for the most viewed – this one was a lovely lock!!! Why don’t you whip yourself up a batch and settle in for a the 60th Annual Christmas Daddies Telethon.
A Note from Mary Murphy
“The recipe came from a friend of mine Marguerite Miller. We became friends when I first moved to Margaree 40+ years ago.
For many years I have made several batches to give in gift bags to our Christmas Daddies crew and hosts. It is my hope that by adding a few homemade treats that crew and guests will know how much I appreciate them giving up their time and talents to help produce a show that will help many needy families.” Mary Murphy
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup salted peanuts
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
The recipe is very easy but timing is very important and must be completed in the time recommended.
In a deep microwave dish heat sugar and corn syrup for 4 minutes. (Because some microwaves differ so you may have to adjust to 90% power after the first 4 minutes)
Add peanuts and heat for three minutes.
Add butter and vanilla and heat for 1 minute.
Remove from microwave and stir in soda.
Immediately spread on a greased cookie sheet as thin as possible.
Let cool about a half hour and break into pieces.
For more of my SEAsonal Celebrations with CTV check out my special segments on the Morning Show here.