The holiday season in Japan just doesn’t feel the same. And why should it? There’s not exactly any cultural weight to prop up things like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even Halloween, so why bother? It’s been four years now since we’ve moved here and every time the weather gets colder my mind starts to take note on the many often heartwarming ways we expatriates try to scrounge up a little comfort of home.
Each year we ALTs to gather together down in the Yoshino-gun to celebrate Friendsgiving (“Goonsgiving”), and even within the past 4 years Halloween has become more and more popular. As for Christmas, we’re planning a cozy celebration with our friends this complete with a KFC bucket, apple cider, crafts, and Christmas cake.
As my daughter grows we’re faced with a lot of choices on what kind of traditions and intentions we want to strive for when it comes to family celebrations. It’s caused me to re-evaluate and identify what I actually value when it comes to holidays. It’s something more than just togetherness. I don’t quite have words for what it is just yet, so we’re playing it by ear.
I made sweet pea a Christmas tree out of felt so that she could celebrate too in her own way. She was such a happy little busy bee, but a few days later she got so curious she ripped it off the wall in her excitement. I haven’t had the time to tape it back up. I’m sure there’s some symbolism in there somewhere.