"working on my faults and cracks..."

12.02.2008

forget December

You know that unwanted in-law burdened down with homemade sweaters and rocking horses inching up your driveway in heavy snow? It's just like that. Regardless of whether or not you care, the same holiday idiocy will inevitably arrive. Every year. In any part of the world--it always does. And here in Okayama, late last week, said arrival quietly hobbled in upon its trusty, ambiguous steed. So now, as Handa Mountain is finally lit with tasteful, albeit somewhat uncharacteristic restraint, it would seem that the first of two events to punctuate my second Japan Christmas has somewhat officially arrived.


It goes without saying that having spent almost two years in Japan, I don't particularly miss Christmas because I don't particularly like Christmas. This fact alone typically requires no justification. But a very small part of me--the same part of me that once downloaded a Madonna song (it was in a parkour video!) and watched "Match Point" (for Scarlett Johansson!)--kind of misses Christmas; if only to have a bit of legitimately nobbish drivel to bitch about.

Christmas here is a sneaky bag, really. So sneaky that if you weren't on the lookout, you might miss its arrival. Perhaps early or middle November (nobody actually knows, really), Christmas in Japan trickles in with such an anticlimactic murmur, and imperceptible change, you hardly even notice that the girls at Loft are now wearing santa hats, that 711 has opened its reservation line for Christmas cake, or that Vivre is looping its muzak with a fifteen-second take on "Jingle Bell Rock," barfed out by a Morning Musume wannabe on speed. I mean, without the traditional tryptophan comas or murderous Black Friday stampedes, ceremonious lighting of the tree (an actual tree, mind you), or classic Johnny Mathis records to dust off and put in the changer--all activities most commonly associated with holiday custom in the states--it's understandably difficult to announce the official beginning of the holiday season in Japan. But now that Handa Mountain is lit, all that's left to kickstart that Christmas cheer that I so dearly enjoy whining about, is to release from its eleven-month hibernation, my official holiday "Deck the Balls" iTunes playlist:

all that's missing is the 'nog

There, that ought to put me in the mood.
Now Christmas can come.

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