Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas already?

Monday will make another Christmas in Japan for me. I make it a rule to take it off, even though it is not a holiday.

Usually, I spend it listening to Christmas carols after a relatively short 20 mile bike ride in the morning. I don't miss Christmas shopping or the nuttiness that goes with it in the US. I don't miss anything about Christmas in any city there, nor in any place where there is not a cold winter---like Wichita Falls Texas where I and my wife spent 2 years.

I do miss Christmas at home though, where there is at least a chance of snow (though it seems to be becoming less frequent). I especially miss the quiet, the clear skies at night when if it is not cloudy, one can see millions of stars. I remember I could even see M31 (the galaxy) with the naked eye on clear nights. I miss seeing cardinals and other birds, miss the wildlife--deer, grouse, turkey.I miss being able to walk 5 minutes and entering a forest. I miss all the things I grew up taking for granted.

I guess I'll have to trade all of that for Christmas in the only country in the known universe with four distinct seasons. Now what season is it? Let's see, about 50 degrees, cloudy, rain, no chance of snow or frost or a freeze. Oh! How clearly distinct!!!!It must be winter? (Same warmish weather in New York City this year---they think it is global warming. New Yorkers don't unnderstan' four seasons...)

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