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?