Two friends celebrate Christmas with ‘special’ 60 year tradition

December 12, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Sending and receiving Christmas cards is a time-honoured way of letting family and friends know you are thinking about them during the holiday season.

Usually those cards are hung or placed on the mantle for a few weeks, then tossed away.

But for two Mono residents, an exchange of Christmas cards has turned into a six- decade-long tradition – with the same cards.

Philip Brett and Earl Dodds have been mailing each other the same Christmas cards since 1959.

They both attended high school in Orangeville and the tradition started during Christmas of that year.

Initially, as single men, they signed the card with their own name. However both eventually married so their wives’ names were included. 

Then as children were born, more names were added to the card. 

As the years passed the children grew up and moved away, so the cards are back to two names but the tradition has continued.

“Philip sent a card to Earl and then next year Earl sent it back to him,” Betty Brett, Philip’s wife, explained. “Maybe he didn’t like that card so he sent it back to me , Earl said, just joking. So that’s how it started. The next year Philip sent him another card and Earl sent it back so then they had two cards going. They kept doing it. Eventually we had our children’s names on in. Of course it’s gone all the way through and now we’re back to two names.”

After 60 years the cards are still in pretty good shape with just typical wear and tear.

“Of course when we send the card we always put a modern day card in there with it,” Betty explained. “The little square card isn’t too bad, but the long one, we had to fold it up to get it into an envelope some years.”

Both men have spent their lives in the area and have remained friends.

On top of that, both couples Betty and Philip and Earl and Grace winter in Texas, and by coincidence, stay at locations only a few minutes away from each other. 

It’s a 60-year tradition that really embraces the Christmas season.

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