Foreign parents in Japan face the task of trying to reconcile their own childhood memories of Christmas, take Japan is different from the holiday season.
Snack for Santa: A piece of cake and a carrot for the reindeer is traditional, but some strawberries and cucumbers also work.Louise GEORGE KITTAKA
While Japan is the commercial part of the season very well with the pipeline display beautiful shades of holidays in many stores, Christmas for most families usually means eating fried chicken and strawberry shortcake, the December 24 and give each child a unique gift “from Santa.”
Custom Fried Chicken originated in the 1970s, when KFC launched a successful advertising campaign for Christmas. Fried chicken was more familiar than the Japanese in Turkey, but it was still quite unusual to meet the growing trend to adopt Western pop culture. As for Strawberry Shortcake, delicate texture is probably more popular than the cake difficult to digest, while the red and black to match the party line.
As a child, generally seven or eight shows each year of my parents, so when her children were young, I used to run around trying to organize more gifts. In an effort to save money I buy books and DVDs often passive in a bazaar International School Christmas. What if my preschool “new” book “This book is part of Shayla Marie Piekarski” written inside?
In most parts of Japan, the winter school holidays starting December 26 for children at school were also on Christmas Day.It is the best day of my father why he brought many gifts, but the friends of the Japanese school received one. Thinking quickly, I realized that many of his friends Otoshidama (gift of money New Year family senile). With my family in New Zealand by all, our children are not involved, so Otoshidama, so I suggested that maybe Santa Claus compensated with more gifts. My son’s face lit. “He called me Santa Claus brings gifts to children whose mothers are gaijin.”
One year my daughter came home from the center of the largest Japanese living in tears on Christmas Eve. “Santa forgot us!” She cried. I tried to explain that Santa was going to visit that night really, but she was distraught, “But he went home yesterday Ayaka!”
I was surprised at first, but then I remembered that December 23 was a holiday to honor King’s birthday. For busy working parents, I can see the attraction to celebrate their day off, but it is easier for those of us trying to do on Christmas Day 25.
Speaking of mistakes, my youngest daughter used to be satisfied that the use of Santa Colonel Sanders, or “Kentucky Ojiisan” as children call it. They saw the statue of Colonel covered with a Santa costume outside our local KFC and come with their explanation. “Santa Baby Christmas cooking for all,” he said.
In New Zealand, grandparents and cousins joined us to celebrate, but in Japan, I often felt like a one woman show, with my husband and Japanese children as spectators amused. Years of effort to try to make the perfect Christmas Day my family in mourning about. In preparation for a party are not properly grateful to my husband saying that the children were spoiled for many gifts did not work. It was a bittersweet moment when I admitted to myself that I was trying to rebuild my image of “perfect” Christmas – something the rest of the family knew nothing.
At the suggestion of my husband, next year we went to eat at Christmas. Although there is no media in New Zealand is the idea of Christmas dinner – a meal in the Italian neighborhood – was relaxed and enjoyable nonetheless. Learning to be flexible and adopt “traditions” was an important part of our family celebrations.
Sometimes things can become lasting family favorites silly. A few years ago, I went to karaoke on Christmas Day. 100 yen shops put Santa hats, sang our way through a complete catalog of Christmas songs in English and Japanese. Now our celebrations include a Christmas karaoke session somewhere.
I do not attend church regularly, but want “real” religious meaning behind the celebrations for my children, I tried to Tokyo for a family service on Christmas Eve in English. I am delighted to sing familiar songs brings me back to my childhood, but even happier that my children continue to work with me every year.
My 14 years of school choir to sing high and in a concert on Christmas Eve this year. When asked if he could jump and go to church as usual, just ran into my eyes, so that teenagers do.However, this week informed me that she joined the rest of us, after all. “I do not feel like Christmas if you do not go together,” he said. Exactly.