I don’t really get Christmas. It mostly feels like an excuse for everyone to buy stuff and make all kinds of food that normally don’t get eaten, like turkey and cranberry sauce. I haven’t made it, probably never will. Turkey tastes blah, cranberries are more tart than McGonagall on a bad day and I still haven’t quite managed to get behind pairing meat with fruit sauces. But then again my only experiences of Christmas growing up consisted of 2 very long letters to Santa – whose handwriting mirrored dad’s perfectly, hm – and watching Home Alone 3. For all the jokes I made about being クリぼっち on Christmas Day (and only for a few hours really) it is pretty much just another winter day.
Yesterday on Christmas Eve I stayed at home recovering from food poisoning. I skipped out on a party I made mulled wine and 3 litres of eggnog for – which apparently went down very well, so my Festive Credentials are still intact – and instead ate porridge and watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks with my sister. We hadn’t watched it in over a decade so we thought this would be a good idea. But as it turns out, when you’re a kid, the wartime context and the genderfail completely flies over your heads. To name just one example, there was a sequence in the film where the kids enter a nursery and Carrie immediately gravitates towards the dolls and cuddles them while Charles starts playing with trains. My sister and I agreed that we could never sit through this film again.
Christmas last year I was in Kyoto with several dear friends. It was incredible and fun, and probably not very much like ‘Christmas’ in any sense of the word. But producing failed jump-shot photos should be on everyone’s to-do list. Put the camera in my hands and you will never get one of those picture-perfect shots where everyone is flying off the ground. But I think photographs of everyone knees bent, thigh muscles clenched and toes just lifting off the ground but never quite making it off, are far more amusing. Those days are so very far away. Japan is, of course, physically very far away – but I have never felt more distant from it than now.
Today I had homemade salted eggs, kimchi, rice and soup for breakfast, over a hysterical episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie. This afternoon I am listening to Lorde for the first time (can I be 16 again and do that first-listen over) before heading to Zobbles’ place for a family dinner, and then we are hopping on a plane to Amsterdam tomorrow. In no particular order our plans are: cheese, walking, canals, stroopwaffel, books, cheese, markets, walking.
For all my lip service to old years and new years, I have never truly believed that calendar years mark actual transitions, or new beginnings, or stuff like that. But maybe I can have a shred of hope this time.
Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you in a bit.