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Finding new traditions by Jojanneke van den Bosch
 

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  • It was the night before Christmas in 1990, that we all sat by the tree with packed presents. My sister and I were invited to our aunt and uncle's house for Christmas Eve. It was the first Christmas since my parents passed away, and we were happy that we wouldn't have to spend that evening with just the two of us.

    Everybody had bought presents for everybody. It was festive, but also sad. My sister and I didn't really talk about our parents that night. We shared the evening with my aunt, uncle and cousins. We had a lovely dinner. Traditionally, my uncle (my mother's brother) received a new daily planner refill for his black book. Traditions.

    We had to make new traditions, a new era had begun.

    The last twenty-three years, we celebrated Christmas Eve at my aunt's house. It became my only family tradition, until today. Last week I received a phone call. My aunt informed me that Christmas Eve was cancelled, because most of her family sees each other already at Christmas Day and the day after (which is also a holiday in Holland, where I live). And spending Christmas Eve together as well would be too much. I guess some family traditions change, and other last. My last family tradition does not exist anymore. The last threads of the navel cord have torn.

    I've had to think about this one for a few days, sort out my feelings about it. It took me some time, but I have discovered one upside to this loss.

    I get to make new traditions in life.
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