Traditions are chains that hold us grounded. Like with any chains, they are restraining. They stop us from feeling the freedom blowing in our hair. The chains are so heavy that we don’t know how light we really are. To hell with traditions.
Hah, I have never been a good liar! I love traditions. Especially the ones which involve pampering loved ones. The feeling of belonging to something is a basic need in the world’s society. I’m no different, even though I claim to not really have a “home”, I do still very much appreciate my engraved chains.
Here’s how I have always done Christmas:
I would wake up early on the morning of the 24th of December, followed shortly by jumping out of bed to attack my Christmas stocking. I would then hide under the duvet until my two sisters come running into my room with their duvets flying through my door. I would then be screaming loudly from being crushed under the weight of sibling love. Then, we would all snuggle up with our sweets and personal letters from Mrs. Santa. Mrs. Santa always knew what we had been up to that year and she would always give us feedback on what we did great and what we could do better. My comments were normally about my meanness to my sisters and my kindness to my baby rabbit. What can I say, I was already a selective bitch from the very start.
Tons of snow would be framing the window while we watched silly Christmas movies. Mamma and Pappa would soon after call on us for our yearly julegrøt meal. The literal translation is Christmas porridge, but don’t be fooled. It is so much more than boring porridge or rice pudding. It’s sweet heaven in a bowl, topped with cinnamon and sugar. I love this game! My mum would bring us all one bowl each, and in one of them an almond would be hidden. The one who gets the almond wins the game. The price is always a marzipan pig. Haha, the best part is that no one in my family actually likes marzipan, but despite this we are all so unbelievably competitive. It’s a game of poker face and acting. Even if you get the almond in your first spoon you will have to pretend like nothing until everyone has eaten up their bowl. The disappointment of not getting that stupid pig was often the cause of brutal fights between us girls, and if one of our parents got it we would cry rivers until they gave up the pig to their annoying three monsters.
What happened normally after was that we would sneakily assault the gifts under the tree. We would feel them up, squeeze, shake, and smell them. Our parents would eventually chase us away and we would run around for a bit. An exceptional dinner would soon be over and the only thing left was the meet and greet with Santa. He was always so scary, and he always came when my mum was downstairs hanging up clothes! As we got older Santa took many shapes. I was even Santa one year. I was a cheeky underaged Santa who wanted to open up Pappa’s best Baileys. The waiting was over; we were all ready for the finale. Gifts! “It’s not about getting, it is about giving”, they say… I say it is about watching your loved ones’ expressions. Whether it is a good gift or a bad gift it is all so entertaining. Especially the bad ones. Every year one of us will be given a so-called “unwanted” gift. One year my dad gave my mum a full outfit with skull design, my mum hates skulls. She is all about flowers and rainbows, but part of the game is that you of course have to be over the moon grateful. My mum was very quick at saying skulls will help channeling her inner badass.
This year I am not going to bed with snow falling outside my window. This year I am not eating julegrøt and sharing laughter with my sisters. This year I am not watching my family play the bad gift theater. This year I am in India. Probably the least Christmasy place on earth… I am celebrating my first Christmas away from family and together with Toby. It is strange. Very strange. With warm waves singing in the background and spicy curry served on our dinner table we are both embracing our new chain breaking. Maybe breaking traditions will become our new traditions? Traveling makes you humble, it makes you more open for understanding other people’s culture, but it also makes you look at your own culture with new eyes. You start appreciating what you normally would take for granted. Traveling is the key to fascination, gratefulness, wisdom, and openness. I’m extremely privileged to be able to do this so much, and maybe one day I’ll be able to settle back into my old traditions. But for now I will enjoy my prison break a bit longer.
Quote Of The Day:
“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
― W. Somerset Maugham