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AMHERST COVE, N.L. — Everett Crewe loves Christmas cards.
Three of the walls in the dining room of his Amherst Cove home are plastered with more than 400 cards he’s collected over the past 25 years.
Christmas cards he has received are proudly displayed for all who enter his home during the holiday season.
“Some years I get 20, some years I only get eight or 10,” Everett explained in an interview with The Packet.
He says it all started in 1993. The oldest card he’s kept is one with special meaning. He gave his girlfriend Pauline a card during their first Christmas together.
When shopping for more Christmas cards the following year, Pauline told Everett she still had the first card he gave to her.
“She said, ‘I still kept the one you gave me,’” he remembers. “I was surprised by it.”
It inspired him to collect cards himself.
Twenty-five years later, Pauline is his wife, and they have three children — 18-year-old Britney, 16-year-old Michelle, and 14-year-old Todd.
And that first card is still on the wall each holiday season.
"It’s a corny little card, but it’s nice,” laughs Everett.
It’s a bit of a tradition for the family to look through his cards; there are plenty of memories to be gleaned from each of them.
Everett says he has a personal connection to the cards. Once things quiet down in the latter part of Christmas, he takes the time to reflect on some special examples — often from people who aren’t around to celebrate Christmas anymore.
“It’s sad, in a way,” he says. “I’ll find cards there from Mom and Dad. Then I find more cards with only ‘Mom’ (written) there. Then, all of a sudden, I don’t have any cards from Mom and Dad.”
While he admits his kids sometimes roll their eyes at “Dad’s cards” they also take part in his tradition.
And some of the most prized pieces are construction paper cards, handmade made by his kids in a Grade 2 class so many years ago.
Everett reflects, looking at his cards, time certainly flies. He expects it won’t be long before he’s looking at cards from future grandchildren.
But his love of the cards also stems from his overall love of Christmas.
“That was my favourite time of year growing up because I come from a poor family.”
Everett says he had seven siblings, along with his parents, growing up in Bonavista.
“Dad was not good to us, but he was good at Christmas. So, our family, that’s what brought us together. Christmas was a happy time for us,” he recalls.
Today, Everett is sure to take part in Christmas celebrations in his home community of Amherst Cove and the surrounding area.
He’s a captain with the Five Coves Fire Department, and is often designated as the resident Santa Claus over the past 10-plus years.
Everett loves handing out candy canes and gifts to young kids, and also taking part in the firefighters’ Christmas party in the evening.
This past year, he published a story submission about his cards in the annual Yuletide magazine and now wonders if he’ll receive more cards because of the publicity.
As always, there’s nothing he’d like more this year.
Perhaps years from now he’ll have a look through his collection and think back to the Christmas of 2019.
“When I reminisce years from now about the Yuletide and The Packet, maybe I’ll have a card to talk about,” Everett says with a chuckle.