TRACY SHUTE Har­bour Grace

The Compass - - PORTHTE -

Tracey Shute’s most cher­ished Christ­mas mem­o­ries cen­tre on spend­ing time with her fam­ily. Christ­mas din­ner, in par­tic­u­lar, was an es­pe­cially jovial, fam­ily af­fair.

“Christ­mas sup­per would be wher­ever my grand­mother, Mariah Mercer, was,” she said.

For the Shut e fam­ily, it did not mat­ter where Mariah hung her hat. It is whe re t h e suppe r would be.

“Whether it was at her home in Up­per Is­land Cove, or the home of which­ever one of her chil­dren she was spend­ing Christ­mas with,” said Shute.

Turn­ing to present day, the tra­di­tion con­tin­ues in the Shute house­hold. The host­ess has changed, but the mes­sage re­mains the same. “My mother now car­ries Mariah’s torch,” said Shute. The 30 mem­bers of Shute’s ex­tended fam­ily will all spend the morn­ing at her mother’s home. Din­ner will con­sist of a cold plate sup­per fit for “kings and queens,” but is not the best part of Shute’s Christ­mas.

“It is hav­ing, as my dad would say, the whole fam-dam­ily … all to­gether in one house,” she said.

That in­cludes aunts, un­cles, cousins from both sides of the fam­ily, and “now our own chil­dren all to­gether in one house of ab­so­lutely won­der­ful, noisy and funny fam­ily Christ­mas mad­ness.”

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