Friday, July 06, 2007

Tradition or Trap?

My family had many things that are considered tradition. Christmas was one of them. There were the core people that you would expect there each year. In the beginning, this included more of my grandmother and grandfather's siblings and their kids. As the family got bigger and bigger and more involved, it broke up a bit. That was when I was a little girl.

Later on it was generally almost always my grandparents kids and their kids each year. My great grandmother too until she died when I was 9 or so. There was the little and big Christmas tree that we would decorate, until one year Grampa got the idea to just keep the tree decorated but covered with a cloth down in the basement LOL. So things did change, but the core of the holiday never did.

Until......recently. I have not been there, and it has not been as well attended by others anymore. But really in my later adult years, it was more a trap than a welcome tradition. In my younger years, I looked forward to it more than anything, as it was one of the few times I would see my cousins. Now of course, we are all old and can drive and see each other whenever we want to. Some of us live farther apart, and so that was the reason that I attended the anniversary party (in addition to congradulating my aunt and uncle on 50 years of wedded bliss) to see everyone.

It's been nice to part with the tradition or "putting up the mask" as it seemed every year. I got so grumpy before going. I didn't used to know why really, but my husband did. I wish then I had gotten to know my grandmother and other family members outside that "fake and artificial" environment. "See everything is great, we meet for Christmas". BS.

At least between me, the S donor, and the monster.
In general, I like tradition. The familiar is always nice to go to, when it's ripe with true good feelings and wishes. Sometimes tradition can become a trap to keep you in your place. To not accept that things have changed, or people's behaviors need to change with the growth of their children into adults. Then tradition has outgrown it's usefulness, and needs reavaluating.

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