eXtasy Advent Calendar – Day 7

Holiday season. This is the time of the year when the decorations come out in early November, the trees go up, the lights go on, and a general air of festivity abounds. And this is in Japan, a traditionally non-Christian country. The stores blare Christmas Muzak, the salespeople where Santa hats, the shops are decorated with cutouts of trees and mistletoe and trees–and of course, there’s jolly ol’ St. Nick doling out presents. You can’t have a Christmas without presents, can you?

Or can you? Festivity meaning buying, of course. For many, I feel, it means buying excess food, drink, and gifts which some people can’t possibly afford yet think that they need. I’ve never–ahem–bought into this idea. Not because I’m not Christian, but because I never saw the need to.

To me, if you’re going to celebrate a holiday, you should do it with family or those you care about. Live it quietly. Remember those you’ve loved and perhaps lost in years past. My mother passed away in late December seven years ago, which took some of the festive flavor out of the year-end celebrations for me. However, even if she hadn’t, I doubt that I would have celebrated wildly. It’s not in my nature and never has been.

New Year’s for me is not only my birthday–yes, I’m a New Year’s baby–it’s also a new beginning. Since I have no family outside of my sister, I share in the celebrations with my wife’s parents, her aunts and uncles, nephews, and the neighbors. I celebrate the new year with one of my wife’s uncles who is a cancer survivor. A very nice person, he was one of the first of my wife’s relatives to welcome me into the family. As a foreigner married to a Japanese national, international marriages are not always welcomed, but he made me feel at ease and has done so ever since. I celebrate with my wife’s nephews, all of whom I held when they were babies, just like I held my own children when they were babies, and marvel at the fact that they are growing so fast. And I celebrate that I get the chance to live a little longer. That, for me, is what the holidays are all about.

Today’s word is….

5 thoughts on “eXtasy Advent Calendar – Day 7

  1. I didn’t realise that different countries also celebrate Christmas even if they are not a Christian country.

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