Nova Scotia

Christmas card makes 72nd trip between McGuire and Seller families

A Christmas tradition involving two families, one Christmas card and 72 years of mail delivery shows no signs of stopping, at least for another generation.

Younger family members promise to continue Christmas tradition for N.S., P.E.I. families

The Sellers and McGuires have exchanged this card since 1943. (Submitted by Frederick Seller)

A Christmas tradition involving two families, one Christmas card and 72 years of mail delivery shows no signs of stopping, at least for another generation.

The Sellers and McGuires lived next door to one another in Charlottetown in the 1940s. They began exchanging the same Christmas card and the practice of sending it back and forth continued even after the McGuires moved to Nova Scotia.

The card features a Scottish man on the front and pokes fun at the stereotypical thriftiness of Scots. It contains a pad of paper so the card can be reused.

"We're on our fifth pad. It's been going on so long," Joan Marie Balcom, who received the card this year, told CBC Radio's Maritime Noon. Balcom, who lives in Halifax, is a daughter of the McGuire family.

"We have to make sure the card continues to go back and forth and we've even talked to our children about after we're gone what's going to happen to the card."

The Seller children are committed to keeping the exchange going, Frederick Seller said.

"They've already said, 'Don't worry, we're all going to be on it, don't you worry.'" 

'Card is getting kind of fragile'

Balcom said she was delighted to receive the card Tuesday.

"It's always kind of exciting. Well, the card is getting kind of fragile right now. It's been going back and forth since 1943."

She said the card now arrives in a padded envelope, by express mail.

The message for 2015 reads:

"We hope to see you when we are with David over Christmas in Halifax. Always a lot of fun with his family. Seeing Paul's name on last year's letter reminds us of his warmth and welcoming smile. We will not forget him. Our love to you from all us, Frederick, Carol, David and crew."

Only once in more than seven decades did the card not arrive at Christmas.

"At one point, we were in New Zealand, we forgot to send it," Seller said.

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