A Japanese Mother’s New Traditions

Japanese Toy CatalogueToy magazines are popping up in the mail almost everyday. As soon as my youngest son learns that a new one has arrived, he goes through every page so diligently, devouring detail upon detail. When he finally returns them to the pile at the corner of my kitchen, his fingerprints are on every page.  The important pages are bent, and some items are marked. It’s plain to see that the holidays are coming soon….

And, I am looking forward to them. Maybe it’s because my children are going to be off from school—I can sleep in with them. Or maybe it’s because I am still new to the whole beautiful idea of the holidays in the United States.

Growing up in Japan, I did not celebrate Christmas as a child. Though my family is Catholic, and we always attended mass on the night of Christmas Eve, there was no family feast or exhilarating exchanging of gifts. Besides, school was still open on the morning of Christmas Eve. It wasn’t that surprising, considering we would go to school six days a week in Japan.