life rattle show no. 1327

Presented on THURSDAY, december 25, 2014


hosted by Laurie Kallis



"Agnes Was..." by Nathaniel Voll


"Home for Christmas" by Kyra Weichert



tonight's Show

Life Rattle No. 1327 features stories by two new Life Rattle writers: Nathaniel Voll and Kyra Weichert. In recognition of Christmas, both of tonight’s stories offer us a peek at a Christmas from days past.

Nathaniel Voll, tonight's first reader, was born in 1993 in Kitchener, Ontario. He and his sister grew up in a sheltered suburban community, advancing through the local catholic school system, camping every summer and skiing every winter. In the year after he completed high school, Nathaniel became a father to a beautiful son who looks far too much like his dad for his own good. Balancing work, school, and fatherhood, Nathaniel moved to Mississauga to follow his passion for acting. He goes home to see his loving family and his son as often as possible, and loves his son to pieces.

"Agnes Was..." opens in a hospice where our narrator’s grandmother is living out her last days. Though not really a “Christmas” tale, at the heart of this story is a beautiful Christmas scene remembered from the narrator’s childhood.
I hesitated about featuring this story on tonight’s show, because it is not a very happy story. But, after some reflection, I thought that Christmas, to so many, does not prove to be a happy day. For many, the high expectations of the season are simply unattainable, and for many, it is a time when we miss, terribly, our family members and friends who are no longer with us. There is such beauty and love at the heart of tonight’s story, between a boy and his grandmother, that maybe this story is quite perfect for Christmas.

Kyra Weichert, our second reader tonight, grew up on the outskirts of Ottawa. Kyra tells us that both sides of her family are mostly Germanic in origin, which really just means she can recite the first two lines of "O Tannebaum" with confidence. Her biggest feat as a child was her impressive collection of stickers (over two thousand!), a hobby enthusiastically supported by her parents. The rest of her childhood consisted of make-believe, reading, and correcting the pronunciation of her name.
Now that she's older, her time is pretty much spent the same way. She is insistent that no one ever truly "grows up", but perhaps that's born partly from her love of Disney movies and children's novels. After high school, Kyra Weichert tired of the suburban life and moved to the equally suburban Mississauga, where she currently studies theatre and English.

"Home for Christmas" brings us a fresh new story of a family Christmas. When both our narrator, and her sister return to their family home for Christmas, after moving out earlier that year to attend school, they find that the family traditions they hold dear do not simply fall into place with their new lifestyles.