“A lot of fuss over nothing…it’s all over now“
–Nora M. Lucey
Nora Lucey was my maternal grandmother, a tough, opinionated Irishwoman who–from all accounts–was never “the homemaker type.” She wasn’t warm, fuzzy or sentimental–not even at Christmas. When asked what gifts she might like, she’d say, “Peace and quiet….it’s a lot of fuss over nothing” and she meant it! Opening presents in front of people made her very uncomfortable, of this I have distinct memories, as well as her declaring “It’s all over now!” when we’d barely gathered our boxes! She neither whined at life’s curve balls nor celebrated home runs, and I always wondered: was she a fatalist, realist or just an odd character?
My mother and her 4 siblings began their families during the 1950s-60s. Coming as they did from NO Christmas tradition, what they achieved for my generation was nothing short of remarkable. We’d get together at one house or another for a big meal and exchange ridiculous amounts of presents despite being very working-class families. When we’d finished socializing with the Irish side, we’d do it all again at my Italian (paternal) grandparents’ house where my cousins lived on the first floor: more food, more presents, more people, laughter and fun…you know, the kind of holiday still lauded on TV that doesn’t happen too often in our new millennium!
When my kids were small, it was impossible to re-create the type of holidays I had growing up. Upward mobility and divorce crept in, so most Christmases were spent just the four of us…but that was really ok! 🙂 We had a huge house to decorate and boy, did we do it up! Thankfully, I had enough money to buy whatever presents I felt appropriate (without breaking the bank) and I always made a huge feast, served in the dining room with a fire in the fireplace. The only thing lacking was extended family, but the warmth and good feeling was the same.
Now that my boys are working adults (still living in Boston,) they’ve been unable to spend Christmas in Florida, sparking a new tradition ➡ For the past two years, we opened our presents “together” via Skype! How crazy is that!? Maggie took this screenshot while we were Skyping:
I repeat…how CRAZY is this virtual Christmas!!??!!
We chatted and ripped open boxes–and acted just as silly–as if we were in the same room! If you look at the bottom right corner, you’ll see what they saw on THEIR screen while we were looking at them!! The pretty young woman in the middle is TC’s new girlfriend (of a few months) and “meeting” her was an added bonus! The whole thing was wonderful!
Later that day, Maggie and I made dinner for my mother and step-dad. The four of us decided next year we’ll bring steaks to the bar-b-que pits at Jaycee Beach for a true “Tropical Christmas,” something we’ve all wanted to do for the longest time. 🙂
I can only imagine what Nora Lucey might think of Skyping and Christmas Cook-outs, not to mention the way traditions (and life!) have changed these past 50 years. Whether it’s a lot of fuss over nothing or something special is for other generations to decide!
Until next time….
P.S. We’re very excited for Jack’s visit! He arrives a week from today and stays for a week!
🙂 🙂 🙂
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