2010年12月18日土曜日

Putting the Christ in Christmas

I'm not a religious person but I love Christmas. I love Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas baking, Christmas cards, Christmas Stockings, Christmas carols, Christmas Dinner- pretty much everything but the presents. Christmas presents stress me out. Deciding what to buy, going and finding it and then wrapping and addressing and sending them half way across the world just about takes the fun out of Christmas. I just want to give everyone the one thing they always wanted but didn't realise they wanted until they opened it. Not setting the bar too high hey?

I have a lot of issues with Japanese style Christmas, too. But the main one is that children get presents without any understanding of the meaning of Christmas and they don't give anything to anyone. It's just a stand there with your hand out kind of occasion.

So you see I've got a problem. How do I share my love of Christmas with my family without getting sucked into the whole commercialism thing?

We do a number of things including have the girls make presents for each other and K and I and making cards for the rest of their relatives but the jewel in my Christmas education is the local missionary's Christmas party. It's potluck, there's no Santa or presents and they do the nativity story with hand knitted dolls, a cardboard box stable and a bilingual narrator. It's really beautiful.


And so once a year we get dressed up in our Christmas finery and go and listen to thenativity. And seeing the girls enthralled by it makes my Christmas.





4 件のコメント:

achan さんのコメント...

Merry CHRIST mas.
I think that same message needs to be told here in Oz! I enjoyed Christmas carols this year that didn't include Santa or Rodolf or presents just carols sharing the gospel and story of Jesus, it was very emotional-this is what Christmas is about.

Jane さんのコメント...

My name is Jane and I am a newly married Gaijin wife in Okayama-ken. I stumbled over here from Nay, Gaijin Wife, and Gaijin Housewife. Anyway, you absolutely hit it on the nail here with the whole idea of children receiving and not giving. The same goes for their New Year's as well. I think you are doing a wonderful job with your girls and as I head towards that road of foreign-in-Japan motherhood, you are going to be a great example and role model. You have a laid back yet can do attitude that is what one needs when confronted with the culture clashing of east and west. And the tree and gingerbread house crack me up! I felt the same thing this year as I have a huge hodge podge of ornaments from 100 yen to which my husband added his Yoda and Lego man skier figurines. He doesn't actually get it but he is trying... And the same with gifts- especially in Japan. Anyway, MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Gina さんのコメント...

Agree 100% Heather. Kids should know the true meaning of Christmas. And they shouldn't just expect to get things. And I also liked how you said kids don't give back. That is sadly so true in this world nowdays right? : (

Both my kids know the reasons for Christmas the real ones and I think that's important. And they bake cookies to give to people every year. That teaches them how to make others feel special. How it's not all about them but others too. Also both the boys make grandpa a gift every year. ; ) While I buy grandpa a gift every year. I think he actually cherishes their homemade gift way more then my store bought one. Honestly.

And like you said to just celebrate the whole spirit of Christmas the whole...being together. Family stuff is really important.

You're right lady...exactly right. Totally hit the nail on the head with this.

My kids get 1 present from Santa each year. Just one. Not 5 just the one. ; ) And we usually give them a few. Just a few. Though they're kinda getting bigger ones this year. @_@ But that's not always the case. ; ) Like you said the emphasis should not be on the presents. Though I know easier said then done, right. : )

I think you're raising your girls the right way. You're an amazing mom and they'll be so proud you're their mom now of course but when they're older especially.

thefukases さんのコメント...

achan- I miss Christmas Carols! They hold an interfaith service on the beach in my hometown. It's so beautiful...

Jane- Hi! Welcome to foreign-wifery! You compliment me way too much though. The girls can be little monsters when the mood takes them. I try though and I always tell myself that's the main thing!

I really do think Japan is a great place to raise kids. The kinders and elementary schools I've experienced have all been amazing and I really think it's a pretty kid-centric society. I'm a little nervous about the teenage years and higher education but one day at a time, right?? And your Legoman Christmas tree made me giggle!

Gina- your boys are just the sweetest! And I know that you put a lot of effort into teaching them values. It's something close to my heart, too. And yeah, we go light on on the presents too because I don't want Christmas to be just about that. And anyway they have New Year's money coming in a week after Christmas too right? They really do have the best of both worlds!