Christmas Interview – Mary Newcombe

My guest today is Mary Newcombe, a lady of many talents. One of Mary’s skills is being able to walk into an empty room and visualize it fully decorated; something I don’t have a hope of ever managing.

But besides being a skillful home decorator, it will surprise you to know that she’s an expert with a fire hose. This picture is from her days as a volunteer firefighter in Port Clements on the Queen Charlotte Islands, where she has been known to drive the fire truck to a fire.

She was on the cutting edge of the age of feminism, defending herself against comments from burly, old handloggers who shouted, “What the hell is a woman doing with that hose?”

Later, when she was told about it, she responded, “If I’d heard him say that, I would have turned the hose on him.” And she would have!!


Welcome, Mary.

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?

Yes, love to have the break from the dark drab days of winter.

2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?


3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?  

We were in San Diego for the holidays.  We discovered that all restaurants were booked and full when it came to Christmas dinner.  We had take-away-tacos.

4. What are your thoughts on gift giving? 

Love it.  I generally purchase items that I like at craft venues through out the valley and local stores.  No chain stores on my list.

5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?

Having a cold white Christmas at Tlell, in the Queen Charlotte Islands.

6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?  Christmas day.  Lorne and I enjoy sharing our stockings together.  Rule #1:  only items that will fit in a stocking.  Which is an interesting feat.

7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas? 

Coming home from the hospital with my new born daughter.

8. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?

I have a pair of perfect quilted hot pads that my sister Shirley made many years ago.

9. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.

Last year I made a calendar for my granddaughter. I loved putting the pictures and mementos together while remembering the great times we had.  It had family events and national/world celebrations marked on the appropriate days.  Did you know there was a ‘penguin’ day in the spring?

10. What would you change about Christmas? 

No Christmas decorating or merchandise in stores until Dec. 1st,  then bring it on.  Less advertising, how many chocolate and perfume ads do we need to be harassed with?

11. What would you keep the same if you could? 

To pass on to my family the simple joys I was taught as a child.

12. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

‘Oh Holy Night’

13. What do you like best about Christmas?

The bright lights and colours in the dark winter.  The feasting.

14. Any additional thoughts about Christmas?

I think it’s a great winter celebration that breaks up the mundane winter.



Would you like to share your thoughts about women firefighters  or homemade gifts? Do you have a job that is “different”?


4 thoughts on “Christmas Interview – Mary Newcombe

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