Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Countdown to Xmas

Well, there are about 14 days until Christmas.
The weird thing is that while I know Christmas is around the corner, I don't feel like I can judge how close or far away it is. There is no pressure to buy presents here. Parents buy one present for their child and put it next to their pillow. The kid wakes up to their one, lonely present from Santa.
In a strange twist, Santa visits the homes of some kids on the 23rd so that they can open their presents on the 24th. For the "older" crowd, Christmas is couples time. Couples will make reservations for hotel rooms and fancy dinners for Christmas Eve.

Seeing a trend?

Yes. Everything Christmasy is happening on the 24th. Well, it's not a Japanese holiday, so I can't feign surprise. But, the lack of Christmas shopping, gift exchanges, the "holiday spirit," etc. make me feel like I'm in some strange dream. Now that I think about it, that feeling persists throughout the year. 

There's no real big buildup to anything in Japan. As far as I can tell. When I was in the U.S., as soon as August rolled around, you knew that people were getting ready for something: the start of school; Halloween; Thanksgiving; Christmas; New Year's. It's like everything just gets better with each passing month. Here in Japan, this month isn't all that different from the previous one.

I guess that's another reason why I feel so down at this time of year. There is nothing to look forward to. What do Japanese people look forward to at this time of year? Spending time with family during the long New Year's holiday (my company is off from Dec. 31 with work starting back on Jan. 6). And if you work for a company: your winter bonus (which, I've never received in all of the time I've worked in Japan).

Since Christmas is not a holiday here, I'll be at work. And for New Year's my boyfriend is going to be spending time with mommy; so, I'm thinking about what I should do. Last year I slept and walked around the city. Maybe I will try and get some New Year's sales...

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