My Graveyard of Traditions

Everyone has different traditions, sometimes they can be annoying and are just something your family wants you to attend, but sometimes they are events you look forward to. What they basically have in common is that they are repeated, sometimes annually, sometimes for each generation etc. They also have in common that if you skip them you usually miss them. Sometimes you’re happy to miss them, but you still know that something is different. Sometimes you get sad if you skip a tradition and don’t really know what to do instead.

One of our family traditions is celebrating Christmas.  As a small kid I used to spend Christmas at my grandmother’s house in Germany. Our family was never really large, so it was just my grandma, my granddad, my aunt, my uncle, my mom, my dad and me. As the years passed our family got smaller. First my granddad passed away, but we still carried on our tradition. When my dad passed away we still tried to spend Christmas at my grandmother’s house, but when my grandmother also passed away we started spending Christmas in Ankara.

The small changes were all weird, but once our Christmas eve was moved somewhere else entirely everything felt wrong. Christmas didn’t feel like just a happy night anymore, it was also a reminder of a dead tradition, dead hopes and dead people.  Traditions die for a reason and once you don’t have the tradition anymore you get reminded of the reasons behind it too.

Change always felt normal to me, I need change and I can’t even stand the view of my own room anymore because I’ve never lived in one place for as long as I’ve lived in my current home, but a change in tradition doesn’t feel right at all. Once upon a time it didn’t matter where we were, we would always follow the few traditions we had, but now it just seems like they’ve all died. I just talked about Christmas because it’s Christmas time, but there are many more traditions buried in the graveyard, like our summers in Cat castle, our New Year’s Eve celebration, our annual skiing trip and so much more.

For three years I’ve been spending my New Year’s Eve with my best friend in Istanbul now and I guess when she told me that her parents might not allow me to come because of her finals I got reminded of all my dead traditions. I felt really weird even though it shouldn’t have been a big deal, but I guess one spark is enough to start a fire… Well thankfully they allowed me to come because I really don’t want any more graves in my graveyard of traditions.

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