Friday, November 15, 2013

We're having roast chicken for Christmas

Or, more accurately, I am, because I'm taking Christmas Day and the next day off work.  I have to use paid holidays because Japan isn't the United States and Christmas Day is just another work day where people are counting down to the real holidays, which run around New Year's.  That's fine.  My job offers enough paid days off and they know I'm a foreigner-- although I swear I never told them-- and expect to take a day or two at Christmas.  My wife, being Japanese, is not so lucky but then she doesn't celebrate Christmas, either, so she'll have to wait until her various jobs take their winter break for some time off.

This means I'll be spending the Christmas holidays alone with our Christmas tree, some gifts from home and a roast chicken ordered from Seiyu.  Seiyu is kind of like a Japanese Wal-Mart, so much so they even offer re-usable Wal-Mart shopping bags so you don't have to buy plastic and clog the plastics bin at home, make the trash collectors work an infinitesimal amount of effort harder and ruin the world with toxins and things that don't bio-degrade and all that scientific stuff I have only weird, ill-informed, piecemeal knowledge about.  We're not going into whether or not Wal-Mart has already ruined enough of the earth that this doesn't matter.  The point is, we can get a whole roast chicken for the equivalent of about eight USD.

Still, roast chicken is only a substitute for smoked turkey.  Or even oven-baked turkey.  I'll more than likely make do with yellow chicken tikka for Thanksgiving, but Christmas dinner will be said bird.  It looks from the colorful brochure as if it's coated in some kind of thick, shiny sauce-- which I could just as well do without-- but it will probably serve its purpose and make dinner that night at least a little seasonally festive.

On the Christmas shopping front, there's no such thing as "Black Friday" here.  You know, no Thanksgiving Thursday.  Shopping continues all year round, but things will reach a crescendo before the New Year's holidays.  I'm doing most of my shopping for my wife and family back home online.  It's stress-free, other than the usual "Don't buy me anything" protestations.  We're going to blend our cultures a bit, which excites me.  It means a longer holiday season, so more chances for fun together.  Also, this broadens the number of people I have to shop for.  And there are few things I enjoy more than giving gifts to loved ones.

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