"Enjoy your "And Tea" and what it will bring to you."

Merry Belated Christmas everyone!

(Subject is from a cafe's brochure)

Yesterday was the last day of work for most of us Japanese residents (with the exception of my husband who just works way too much...)  Now I can focus on things like.. Oh crap I haven't sent out all of my Christmas cards yet!  Better get on that...

Every year I take all the Christmas cards I get and hang them up on my wall in lieu of a Christmas tree.  But this year the only card I got before Christmas was a "thank you" card from the World Wildlife Fund for opting on a donation istead of a party favor from my friend's wedding.  But Christmas afternoon, a letter arrived from my aunt Janet.  Thanks so much!  Since my Christmas door was pretty sparse, I decorated it with streamers from a concert I went to.  (If there are any other Yasunori Mitsuda fans in my mailing list, please reach out!)

So in response to my last post, someone asked what Christmas is like in Japan.  I like to say that Japanese Christmas is the equivalent of the Western Valentine's Day, and Japanese New Year's is the equivalent of the Western Christmas holiday.  So on Valentine's day, it's still a work day, but you give a small gift, usually romantic, to your partner, people in your immediate family, and maybe a very close friend.  You go out to dinner with your lover if you're in to expensive meals and romantic dates, but if you're busy with life or kids, you can just let the day pass by and no one will think less of you for it.  That's Christmas in Japan.  Only with Kentucky Fried Chicken thrown in there for absolutely no good reason.  Even my friend who's allergic to chicken put some KFC as a side as his Christmas party....  Whaaat??

I think a lot of Japanese holidays are about the food.  So my students default to, "What do you eat for Christmas?" instead of, "Why do you celebrate it?" or "What traditions do your family have?"

The next question people have been asking me is - How is your salamandar artwork coming along?  I've made a work-in-progress sequence for you.  It's totally not even close to being done.  Why did I decide to hand-paint so many tiny circles?

How is everyone else doing this season?  And ask any more questions so I can write more answers!


P.S. for my birthday I want something to crack nuts with, something peanut-butter flavored, cheerios, my old Xenogears game, and a good book to read.


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