It’s Christmas Eve. Christmas Day begins in less than two hours. But unlike my Christmases in Canada, the ones I’ve had in Japan just don’t feel like Christmas. Not in the same way.
Yes, I have family here. We have presents, though mainly for kids. We have a Christmas dinner. There are Christmas parties. There are Christmas decorations, and even some people cover their houses with lights. Christmas music is all over the place. There are some Christmas TV shows. What’s not the same? What’s not Christmas?
Well, in Japan, Christmas is all commercial. It’s not so much about family, it’s more for the children. It’s not a holiday, so people work. The big difference is that the build-up to Christmas just isn’t there. Well, there is a build-up, but in a totally different way. And the strange thing is that the day after Christmas, all decorations are gone. They’re replaced by New Year’s decorations. New Year’s Day is the biggest holiday in Japan, so that’s understandable. It overshadows Christmas in a big way.
There are many differences between a Canadian Christmas and a Japanese Christmas. And these are things I miss a lot.
- Christmas dinner – Turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. In Japan, it’s Kentucky Fried Chicken.
- Focus on family – In Japan, the focus is on kids.
- The relaxing feeling – It’s not relaxing in Japan. It’s basically a day like any other day.
- The Christmas spirit – People get into Christmas in Canada. Not so much in Japan. It’s not very important.
- The TV shows – I miss the Garfield, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and Frosty Christmas specials.
- Sitting around the Christmas tree – Some people do this in Japan, but it isn’t a major thing.
I think the biggest difference is the anticipation. During December, everyone is anxiously waiting for their holiday to start and spend time with their family. This happens here in Japan, but for New Year’s Day. It’s just a different kind of celebration.
Ever spend Christmas in another country or culture?
From now on, I’m going to be pretty busy for the next couple of weeks. Twice, we’ll be going out of town to visit relatives. Both times will be overnight trips. But no need to worry, I’ll still be posting twice a day. That’s what’s nice about having a WordPress app on my phone. I can blog from anywhere.
January 1st is going to be very busy, and I won’t have any time to post Authors Answer myself, so I’ll be scheduling it for that day. I’ll be writing it up a couple days before and have it post automatically. The one for Christmas will go up as normal, since we’ll be home.
I’ll still be working some days, while others have off. But I’ll be busy, mostly because of travel, eating and drinking with family, and occupying my daughter’s time (or she’s occupying my time). I’m wondering what to do for the Monthly Review. I can’t do it on time, so it’ll be late. I also can’t do the Weekly Review on January 2nd. I’ll have a big one on the 9th, then.
I also have a big idea for the new year, so expect something interesting after the holidays.
Are you busy over the next couple weeks?
It’s cold out. It’s winter. It’s my least favourite season. Time to be pessimistic!
- It’s 2 1/2 months of cold.
- I turn 38 years old. I’m soooo old!
- I have to spend a night at the in-laws. What do I talk about? And in Japanese!! Ugh.
- I have a week off soon, but it’ll be filled with toilet training for my daughter. How tedious.
- I have to take a long train trip to the in-laws. Pain in the ass with my daughter complaining.
Okay, enough of that. I’m not a pessimistic person. I’m actually an optimist, which annoys the hell out of some people.
- Daylight hours are getting longer now, which means spring will be soon!
- I have a lot of years left to do lots of writing.
- I’m going to be eating a lot of sashimi, drinking beer, and I can practice my Japanese! Great!
- I have a week off to do lots of blogging, writing, and when my daughter’s toilet training is finished, we can save money on diapers.
- Long train ride means lots of reading time. I like that.
Can you brighten a pessimist’s day?
That’s right, I’m eating a Kit-Kat. No, that’s not right. Actually, I’m taking a break from writing my book. Don’t worry, it’s not a long break. I’m going on holiday next week, so there won’t be any chance to write. I’ll also be busy with my family. Once the holidays are over, I’ll be back at it.
But that’s all I’m taking a break from. I’m still blogging here, unless I’m unable to make a post while I’m on vacation (you know, eating and drinking with the in-laws makes it a bit difficult). For part of today and tomorrow, I’ll still be pretty free, though I do work tomorrow. I’m going to be reading a lot, and I’ll also be trying out paint.net, which is a free paint program with lots of features. It’s been a few years since I’ve done some serious graphics work, so I’ll be trying to get the hang of it again.
So, I have a quick question. Anyone have experience with paint.net? How is it?