Saturday, December 22, 2012

He's jolly and foreign, what more could you ask for?

A week or so ago, I was Santa. First at an elementary school, for the special ed class. Lots of ho-ho-ho’s and hand shaking and “merry Christmas!”s, and then we played bingo until all thirty kids won and got a present from Santa. One kid was super energetic and friendly. As we finished class, he came up to me, patted my pillow-enlarged belly, and asked (in Japanese), “Santa, are you pregnant?”
Costume held together with safety pins. Classy.
No buddy. But if I were, I hope my kid would be as awesome as you.
Second was a kindergarten. Four very brave tiny children asked questions like “How many reindeer do you have,” “Why do you wear red,” “How do you get in houses,” and “Where do you live?” (Nine reindeer; it’s a bright and happy color; magic; and Finland.) Each kid came up and shook my hand and got a present, and then we took a class picture.
And then in the teachers’ room the principle gave me coffee and cake, an origami Santa ornament, tangerines, and a flower arrangement from the PTA. Unexpected, but pleasant. Add to that the fact that both days I was finished with “work” by eleven a.m. and I had an extremely satisfying Santa experience.
It makes me think a bit. It’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t have happened in the states. If I’d kept on my pre-Japan path I’d be living in New York and still thinking of myself as far too young to be a suitable Santa. I’d be missing out on so much. 
Or maybe not, maybe I’d be doing equally awesome things in the states. Kinda doubt it, though.


For the holiday itself, I’m going to stay indoors where it’s warm all day, but for the twenty-fourth I’m going with a friend and her friends and family over to the coast, to a town called Fujisawa. We’ll go to a nondenominational Christian service that’s completely in Japanese (I didn’t understand a single word last year) and eat a fantastic dinner of excellent chicken (though not KFC, which is seriously what most Japanese people associate with Christmas) and sushi. And wine, because the dad of the family is a connoisseur. We’ll sit on cushions around the low heated table and I will try very hard to participate in the conversation. I swear, being social here is like taking oral exams every day.
I like this. Aside from my mom’s rolls, I never really liked Christmas dinner in the states. Christmas sushi may become a tradition for me.


Christmas lights: I miss them. There are three houses I know of in my city that have lights up, and they’re all awful, garish, and tacky.
Christmas songs: I don’t miss them. This year the only ones I’ve sought out are “Boots” and “Joseph, Better You Than Me,” both by The Killers. That’s enough. I’m sure I’ll hear all the others next year. And the year after that. And so on.


Next week will almost certainly be full of reminiscences. For the week after that, though, I have something more . . . contrary? combative? in the works. Some things were said in the moho blogs recently that I strongly disagree with and think are important enough to write a handful of posts about.


Chances are you’ve seen this already, but in case you haven’t: The year's best autocorrects. Guffaws and tears. It’s that funny.

1 comment:

  1. I'm doing MoHo Blog catch up. My favorite Killers Christmas video is "Don't Shoot Me Santa." I love the red Cadillac convertable.