Celebrating Christmas Abroad

Darcy Boyea
English and Japanese major
Doshisha University, Japan
Academic Year 2016-2017

Every year, at least person says, “It’s not about the presents, it’s about the presence”. As I got older, I would agree more and more with this statement, but I would still except multiple presents. This year, though, I received two presents (one of which is the care package from my parents that, as of the twenty-sixth of December, still hasn’t arrived). Now, this isn’t me complaining about how many presents I did or didn’t receive. It’s just me realizing that what I wanted more than anything was to be waking up in my bed, Christmas morning. I wanted to eat my mom’s Christmas morning quiche and eat Christmas cookies all day. I wanted to count how many presents everyone got, and listen to my dad figure out how many presents he would open each hour to make it last all day. All of this would have happened probably by ten, maybe eleven a.m. We probably wouldn’t have even opened up our stockings yet. It’s the little things that I enjoyed. I’d be lying if I said I never wanted a Christmas present again. I’d also be lying if I said that this was the first time I realized how much of a present my family was (as cheesy as that sounds). But it puts everything in perspective.

To be quite honest, Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas for me. A group of friends and I had a little party on the Friday before Christmas. We went out to eat, and then went to campus to do our white elephant. It was a lot of fun, just not the same as being home with my family.

On Christmas day, I went to see Rogue One with a friend, and she and I met up with another friend to go to a cafe. In Japan, Christmas is more of a date night, it’s not a big family thing, so everywhere was pretty busy. Which also kind of took away from the “Christmas” feel for me.
The cafe we went to was a cream soda cafe, and it also served pancakes. So, even though I had just had popcorn at the movies, and I wasn’t really hungry, I decided to order a pancake to go with my cream soda.
The pancake I got was chocolate chip with whipped cream on the side, and the cream soda was lavender flavored. Quite the combo, but it was absolutely delicious.
One of my very good friends that I’ve made here also gave me a pretty awesome Christmas present, which I’m so happy for.
(A scarf with a cute little cat face on it.)
Now, with all that said, it still didn’t feel like Christmas. It just felt like another day out with friends, but I did get to talk to my parents, which made the day that much better. It just makes me excited for next year, because Christmas will mean that much more to me (if it was even possible for it to mean more in the first place).
See Darcy’s personal blog for more: http://darcystriptojapan.blogspot.jp/
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