The big end-of-the-year family holiday in Japan is actually New Years. Christmas is a couples' holiday, celebrated by eating KFC and going on dates. Since I'm interested in neither chicken nor dates, I had to find something else to fill my time on December 24th and 25th.
I'll admit--I've been a little depressed lately. The constantly rainy weather combined with the fact that most of my JET friends are either home for the holidays or traveling in some awesome distant land hasn't made me feel all that fabulous and proactive. That's why I woke up yesterday morning with the determination to get out of the house and do something to make me feel better. As Cailey likes to say: "You live in Japan. Go on a damn adventure."
The first stop on my adventure? The beach.
The weird thing about the beach is that I usually forget it's there. It may seem odd to forget about something as huge as the ocean, but I honestly do. During the summer I went there all the time, but since the start of the school year this is only my second visit. You can't forget about the mountains. They're there every morning when I wake up, they're in my rearview mirror on my way to school, they're there every time I look outside the window during class. The ocean, despite being more massive than anything else on the plant, is sneaky. It can hide itself behind trees and you'd never know it was there. I need to make a better effort to visit it more often.
After the beach, I did a little shopping and headed over to my friend Melody's house for a Christmas Eve sleepover and a Christmas Brunch. One of the things I love about my community in Japan is that there are always other English-speakers within easy reach. A nice, calming walk followed by an evening out with some lovely friends was just what the doctor ordered.
The day ended with me investing in a new memory card for my camera (the two 512 MB cards from my old camera just weren't cutting it) and four volumes of Japanese manga that I am very much looking forward to reading as soon as I finish up with this! It may not have been a very traditional Christmas, but I had a good time. I'm missing my family and friends, I'm a little lonely in my teeny tiny Japanese apartment, and tomorrow will probably bring yet another bout of precipitation, but I'm happy for right now. I guess that's what happens when you get out of bed and go on a damn adventure! Happy holidays, everyone. Have a glass of soymilk eggnog for me.