Shared rituals bring us all together: friends, gathered together; a shared meal with family - at least those whom we can still stand. And gather together we have: the internet came together to collect the Vinyl Cafe podcast in time for a Christmas release.

It was a heroic effort that involved badgering people for their old harddrives, using a time machine, some eight months, and totals a touch over 14.4GB.

So once more we celebrate the heroic tale of Dave and The Turkey, as told by the late master storyteller Stuart McLean.

You can explore the entire archive on archive.org here:

The Vinyl Cafe Archive : Stuart McLean / The Vinyl Cafe : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Thank you, Stuart, for 20 years of Vinyl Cafe live shows and memories. We miss you.From the 2008 October 11 podcast to the final Vinyl Cafe Holiday Special...

My Christmas Ritual

Every year, my family and I do our ritual that started back in '89. Though the people in the tradition have changed - some family members moved away, some passed away (rest in power, Abuelita), some joined the family, and some we adopted - the ritual is the one thing that hasn't.

Our day-before dinner consists of Shephard's Pie (meat, onions, olives, raisins, all smothered with a layer of mashed potatos) and Empanadas: meat, onions, olives, raisins, and egg, all wrapped in a lovely flaky pastry/bread that is as sweet as it is salty.  It's a time of preparation for the main event as family members and friends arrive in town; a time to relax before the main event.

Christmas dinner consists of Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatos, carrots, peas, and deviled eggs topped with green olive. After dinner, presents are exchanged, drinks are drunk, and as the hours wane on, we break out Mario Kart. In recent years this has been Mario Kart Wii; prior to Abuelita's passing it had been the Star Cup in Mario Kart 64.

The Vinyl Cafe Turkey Story

Dave Cooks A Turkey was first recorded as part of Stuart McLean's Christmas recording session back on Friday, December 13 1996, and made available on CD in 1997. It has become a Christmas tradition in Canada, airing on the CBC every year and available as part of (nearly every) Vinyl Cafe release in book and disc form. A twenty two year tradition, it continues.

Though Stuart McLean passed away in 2017, his tradition continues today. Here's his final holiday special, recorded back in December of 2016 in his final show.

So pull up a chair, and let's come together once again to celebrate the life and times of Stuart McLean, the shenanigans of Dave and Morley, and quintessential Canadianness.

Stuart, we love you.