Christmas in Turkey!
Ankara Travel Blog› entry 7 of 19 › view all entries
Though Turkey does not list Christmas as a national holiday you will see evidence of the Christmas season on the city streets with the festive lights hanging from trees and light poles, windows shops sporting a lone santa doll or a charlie brown xmas tree as decoration, or a few closet sized shops selling the occasional santa and xmas home decorations. But the twist is all of this is really meant for New Years :P:P. The Turks exchange gifts on Jan 1 and Baba Noel (santa) brings good little turkish children gifts on this day instead of Dec 25.
I must admit that I enjoyed the season more in Turkey then I do back home in the States. The holiday means very little to me and for the most part my celebration of Christmas is really meant for my nieces and family members. In Turkey, however, I felt the nostalgia of relating to my childhood perspective of xmas. There wasn't the bombardment of "buy me buy me buy me" advertisements, no arguments between the Christians and the Secularists on the purpose of Xmas, nobody lecturing me on how the term "happy holidays" is ruining Xmas, people weren't fighting over the hot item gifts, frosty the snowman wasn't playing on repeat, there was no crazed family drama at the dinner table and for the first time in a long time the gift really didn't matter. It was about being with or thinking of those you love.
My Dec 25 was like any other day. I woke up, I went to my Turkish class, exchange simple "Merry Christmas" with my classmates and friends, shared holiday related stories over cups of tea, bought some christmas tree cookies before returning home to prepare dinner for Sem, and spent the evening enjoying each others company. A peaceful Christmas with someone you love.