Dec 18, 2004
I had forgotten how nice mayfield is the week before Christmas. They decorate a tree in the entrance of the house and wrap the wood-carved stairwell with lights and christmas branches. Though i do have my mixed feelings about the holiday. I love it for the giddiness, family, warmth and all but I HATE it. The two main reasons are 1) Christmas songs and 2) The fact that Christmas has to clash with the complicated psychology of Japanese gift-giving culture.
Let me elaborate. I don’t even think people in Japan can exactly explain all the rules and the ins and outs of everything involved with giving anything. You never “just give a present to someone” because you have to have a speech prepared showing your utter humility and low-liness (is that a word?) compared to the person you’re giving to. Then, the person who receives the gift will have to either a) give back a present or b) write a thank you card emphasizing how you are not worthy of the gift (even if its a plate of cookies).
ANyways, that surely isnt the end of it. I guess im in awe of people who can just give/get a present & not really think twice about it. Christmas could be better if we just didnt have so many expectations. Its always hyped up to be more than it actually is, and when the day comes, I find im always disappointed. Not for lack of gifts or anything, but the momentum before it doesnt match the anti-climacity of the day itself. As my grandma says, “God knows I’m not christian, but I like Christmas. I’m just a practicing Pagan celebrating the winter solstice.”