Thursday, January 12, 2006

Christmas in Japan

Ah Christmas, a time for loved ones, a time for giving, a time of special things and a time that is virtually non-existent in Japan. I really am glad that my host family celebrates Christmas, believe in Santa Claus and have a Christmas tree or I feel as though my Christmas for 2005 may have been truly dead.

Christmas in Japan is different for various reasons but they all stem from one rather important reason…. Japan is not a Christian Country. No I am not making accusations that Japan is a heathen Country, what I am saying is that Christmas is a religious holiday- without baby Jesus you ain’t got no Christmas baby!! Most western Countries e.g. Britain, America, Australia were all founded with Christianity as the main religion and the bible as one of the main sources of consultation for the creation of their Constitutions, therefore of course Christmas is going to be huge in these Countries, it is a centuries old tradition. Christmas is starting to become the “trendy” thing to do in Japan (along with anything else western according to Japanese MTV), though it is mainly highly commercialized and pushed by Retailers to make more sales at the end of the year (hey that sounds just like the rest of the world!!). I would have to say Japanese Christmas spirit is rather stylish- there were decorations all over the shop fronts which looked absolutely amazing, unlike some displays we would see in other parts of the world. Though Japan is edging closer it is still missing that Christmas feeling, probably because Christmas is a normal working day in Japan…..ouch.

My Japanese Christmas came in the form of Christmas Eve, the Japanese prefer to celebrate on Christmas Eve so they can work or go to school on Christmas day if need be. My host mum did a lot of cooking (a HUGE feast), we stuffed ourselves silly on Sushi, Chicken, fried rice and lots of other untraditional Christmas foods (doesn’t mean it tastes worse). Presents were handed out between our family members (of course I bought them all presents) I managed to receive:
1: Hirai Ken’s new CD- Uta Baka
2: A soccer ball CD case
3: A very funky photo album
4: A hand made Christmas card made with love by youngest host sister
Oh I love Christmas!

Christmas morning came around and would you believe it, Santa Claus had visited our house!! And he brought me presents!! Santa brought me:
1: Push-up grips
2: A rubber tension workout band
3: One of those exercise roller wheels with handles on the side- you hold it and roll forward until your body is stretch forward like a plank- an absolute killer ab’s workout.

Santa no offence intended but I really think you are a hypocrite with that oversized belly of yours.

I spent Christmas day cleaning the house, not much fun but I still managed to get some Christmas into 2005.