(Belated) Christmas post!

18 Jan

I’m so sorry for how long it’s been since my last post.  Perhaps it’s because of the new environment or perhaps being around small kids all day doesn’t agree with me, but for whatever reason, I’ve been sick a lot this winter.  I came down with a bad virus that kept me in bed with a 39.4º C fever and intense vertigo, so I’ve been basically trapped in bed laying completely horizontal for a while now.  But now I’m finally back at work, attempting to catch up on things like my blog.  I apologize for the long break!

While it was almost a month ago, I’ve been meaning to write here about my Christmas in Japan! In Japan, Christmas essentially has two varieties: a celebration with kids and parents where the family eats fried chicken from KFC together and the kids get presents from their parents and from “Santa Claus,” and a romantic date night for couples to go to fancy restaurants and see illuminations together.  Since Japan is one of the few countries where Christianity never caught on despite the best efforts of European missionaries, and so Christmas has sort of come in parts through foreigners living in Japan, and today’s Christmas in Japan in the result.

ImageWhile I consider myself areligious, my mother’s family has always celebrated Christmas with the
tradition, so I enjoy doing Christmas festivities on December 24th, and while I’m not a someone who’s obsessively in love with Christmas, I enjoy the opportunity to make fancy food, dress up, and consider the day a “special occasion.”  So, since December 24th was a national holiday this year (December 23rd is the emperor’s birthday, but since that was a Sunday this year, the holiday was moved to Monday), S and I decided to have our own small Christmas celebration.

ImageWhile we weren’t planning on going to see illuminations and hadn’t bought gifts for one another, we decided one thing we needed to do to make it a Japanese Christmas was eat chicken!  Unfortunately, S forgot to reserve KFC for that day (yes, people make reservations to have KFC ready to be picked up on Christmas), so we were forced to eat chicken from a different place.  It was still delicious, however, and to round out the meal, I made a pasta salad and hors d’oeuvre crackers with garlic cream cheese and tomato and cucumber.

ImageWe also got Christmas cake!  Another food Japanese people associate with Christmas is cake, and since the Japanese take pastries and baked goods very seriously, there are some very beautifully decorated cakes available for Christmas.  But… seeing as our Christmas was already sort of thrown together, we settled with roll cake and slices of cake from the convenience store.  Still, they were quite delicious, and we finished off with some sparkling wine, which, cheap as it was, was a nice way to end a nice evening.

Perhaps next year, we’ll get our act together and actually get KFC and order a real cake from a bakery.  Maybe I’ll even have a party rather than just a quiet evening with my bff.  But this year was fun, too, so maybe, next year, we’ll do it the same, after all.


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