gifts and gripes

christmas is a holiday which fills me with mixed emotions. i dislike the commercialism, the hokey songs, the male dominated themes of it (santa, scrooge, rudolph, charlie brown, tiny tim, the grinch, ralphie, frosty...), the cutthroat tactics of shoppers, the charity which only shows itself at this time of year (why not be kind all the time?), the fact that it starts in september now. but, i do like receiving gifts, creating handmade gifts, baking, spending time with family, listening to traditional music on performance today, and seeing the festive decorations. i could deal with all the dislikes if it was only for a short time, like say 25 days, rather than the three months christmas seems to be allotted now. in a way, it's really ruining a holiday which used to mean more. i'm tempted to throw the holiday out with the bathwater and just celebrate winter solstice.

well, putting the soapbox aside, my parents put a delicious gift under the tree for me, ippodo tea! a couple of new things i haven't tried before; individual sugared matcha packets, horai-no-mukashi matcha, and new year's bancha. then, an old favorite, karigane tea. how was your christmas, chanukah, kwanzaa, or winter solstice?


  1. Simplify was our theme this year. I did not go out and buy a lot of gifts for people who did not need them. There were only 4 gifts under our tree one of which was handmade. It was so nice to NOT be part of the craziness this year, that we plan to do it again next year. We said no to several invitations and yes to some simple time with my uncle and my cousin at their church. It was the best Christmas I have had in years.

  2. yes, simple is my new maxim when it comes to this time of year; food, family, graciousness, and being grateful for all the little things that make life enjoyable.

  3. I never thought of Christmas as a male dominated theme, but you are absolutely right, and you made me laugh.
    Also, I entirely agree about the false charity and why not being kind all the year: it was hard not to give in to the general feeling of 'buonismo' as we say here (buono=good). So once again I am insensitive and stubborn, they didn't see that I wasn only true to myself.
    May 2012 bring you a lot of creativity, I like your blog and what you do.

  4. it's okay, i only just realized it myself this year. a friend, who loves this time, asked me if there were any christmas movies i did like. that's when the realization struck. at the end of the day you have to remain true to yourself, it's a disservice to anyone by not being "you".
    thank you! i write this blog mostly for myself, so it's neat when someone else can enjoy it too!