Christmas in the Harbour

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Herald’s Cookbook cover stars Danielle Butt and Sharon Snow recall cherished holiday memories in our cover story 


lmost every sense we have is acutely modified to embrace another Christmas miracle. There are the sentimental sounds of the season, the smell of pine and, of course, the mouth-watering aroma of turkey. From the glimmering lights that brighten moods to the innocence of a child’s eyes on Christmas morning, the magic of the holiday season fills our very being.

Christmas feeling

Go ahead, close your eyes, and think back to your childhood. We all have cherished memories that immediately give us that Christmas feeling – whether it’s a favorite toy, a scent of home or a cozy hug from a loved one.

Sharon Snow can picture it like it was yesterday. It was the late 1970s and an excited eight-year-old Sharon Torraville crept down the stairs of her Fogo Island home. Her little brothers were still asleep but she couldn’t wait to peek. “I’ll never forget it,” Snow recalls.

A Grade 3 student at Riverhead Elementary, her eyes focused on the Christmas tree. She was instantly captivated by a beautiful three-foot doll – with the pretty dress and blonde hair – the exact doll she’d seen at Riff’s and asked Santa for.

“I was so happy. It was exactly what I wanted,” recalls Snow, who still has the doll (Jill) and will cherish it forever. “It’s one of those wonderful childhood memories that instantly makes me happy, and appreciative.”


Family time

There is something extra special about Christmas in rural Newfoundland, from old traditions to just a simpler way of life. The pace seems much slower outside the city. Long before there were strings of lights, nature itself was the best decorator as a bright moonlight lit up snow-covered branches. It’s festive scenes like this that Danielle Butt remembers growing up in Carbonear. The Butt clan, she says, are fiercely loyal and love family time together. It’s been that way for as long as she can remember.

“Christmas has always been such a special time in our house,” says Butt, who’s been with NTV and OZ for over two decades. “From the food, songs and presents we share, we sure do appreciate the time we have together.”

They also have some serious family traditions, like walking together on Christmas Eve to Uncle Clyde’s for deep fried duck.

“We start the walk around 11 – the weather doesn’t matter – and it’s always such a great time. We’ve been doing this as a family for almost 25 years.”

And there’s no better place to enjoy Christmas than Gunners Pond, their former cabin that has since been transformed into the family homestead.

For our complete uncut interview with Butt and Snow pick up a digital copy of our Dec 2-8 issue. 

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