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Joyeux Noel from Canada

Joannie Rochette.
Joannie Rochette. (Getty Images)

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By Laurie Nealin, special to icenetwork.com
(12/21/2007) - Canadian skaters and a couple of their friends kicked off the Christmas season in style this week with Holiday Festival on Ice, an hour-long television special which aired on CBC on Tuesday.

Featured in holiday-themed performances were Joannie Rochette, Jennifer Robinson, Shawn Sawyer, Emanuel Sandhu, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Isabelle Langlois and Cody Hay, and Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.

American Sasha Cohen and Great Britain's Steven Cousins joined in the festive fun, which included introducing two-month-old Jesse Pelletier to Canadian fans.

With most of the country knee-deep in snow, competitors will be enjoying, rather than dreaming about a White Christmas, before refocusing for the upcoming Canadian championships which begin January 16 in Vancouver.

In the spirit of the season, icenetwork.com asked four of Canada's national team members 12 'Christmassy' questions to find out what they have planned for the 12 days of Christmas, and how their families traditionally celebrate the holidays.

Here's what Joannie Rochette, Shawn Sawyer, Mira Leung and Christopher Mabee had to say.

The best Christmas gift I ever got was:

Shawn: A Batman snow racer, because it was a huge part of my childhood.

Mira: I don't have a favorite gift because I always get everything I ask for, and they all mean something special to me.

Joannie: A pendant.

Chris: Just being with my family. I don't see them much during the year, so any opportunity to be together is a gift in my eyes.

At the top of my Christmas gift wish-list this year is:

Shawn: A 10-K white gold cross necklace. It's fun to dream.

Mira: Peace on Earth.

Joannie: A new iPod.

Chris: A Canadian goose-feather jacket. I don't have a good winter jacket, so I really am hoping for that.

My favourite Christmas song or carol is:

Shawn: "Jingle Bells"! In French and English.

Mira: "Silent Night"

Joannie: "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

Chris: "Santa Baby", by Madonna. I used to listen to it with my dad in the car around Christmastime, so it always brings me back to those times!

Real tree or faux?

Shawn: I have a faux one, but my family has a real one that is so much better and smells great.

Mira: Faux!

Joannie: Faux!

Chris: I have a fake tree. I am trying to save the world one Christmas tree at a time.

On the top of my family's Christmas tree is:

Shawn: An angel with big, big wings.

Mira: An angel.

Joannie: A star.

Chris: An angel. Her name is Svetlana. (LOL)

On Christmas Eve, my family always:

Shawn: Gives us champagne. We are now at a legal drinking age, before it was an exception.

Mira: Watches holiday classics on TV.

Joannie: Meets up at the church.

Chris: Gets together with friends of the family, and we spend the whole night playing Balderdash!

On Christmas morning, I sleep until:

Shawn: Not very late. I have two younger sisters that are like me and loooooove Noel.

Mira: Noon

Joannie: 9:00 a.m.

Chris: 10:00 a.m.

When the turkey platter is passed, I go for:

Shawn: A huge, white middle piece.

Mira: The drumstick.

Joannie: Desserts.

Chris:: The white meat. For some odd reason, I like turkey meat dry with salt. I am weird.

My favourite Christmas goodie is:

Shawn: Reese chocolates.

Mira: Chocolate.

Joannie: Desserts.

Chris: Egg nog. I know Christmas is coming when I see it in the stores.

During the Christmas holiday, I will be skating:

Shawn: With a full belly!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha. It's so hard.

Mira: Training for nationals.

Joannie: In Montreal.

Chris: Every day except Christmas and Boxing Day.

I will celebrate New Year's Eve with:

Shawn: I don't know yet. I won't be with my family for this New Year's, so hopefully some friends.

Mira: My family.

Joannie: Family and friends.

Chris: My close friends, but this year I might change it up and spend it with my brother and his girlfriend.

On the 12th day of Christmas:

Shawn: I will sing that song one more time, but the Acadian version!

Joannie: I will be training for nationals like the 11 days before!

Chris: My true love gave to me... 12 drummers, drumming. Hee- hee.