Christmas: Rummaging through Japan’s dumpster to find meaning

The Christmas season in Japan keeps me busy every year. I have to renew my awareness of the true meaning of Christmas, which turns out to be a good thing. In the end I am fulfilled by the results, and thankful for the meaningless crap that conceals the treasure every year.

Japan is possibly the worst place in the world to be for Christmas if you are looking for a holiday to add real meaning and value to your life. The vacuous decorations are everywhere anyone wants to make a yen. People decorate their homes with lights for a little fun during this otherwise dull lead up to the New Year. Businesses rely on Christmas to boost sales as the traditional Japanese New Year may give people reason to stock up on foods, but no on other kinds of material goods.

Television broadcasts images of New York Christmas, emphasizing the message that Christmas is really meaningless to Japan, and that the birth of Christ is only really important to people outside the country. Images of domestic Christmas usually involve shopping and young people eating Western style sweets.

Nowhere is it ever mentioned that the holiday’s originated with the celebration of the birth of one of the worlds greatest revolutionaries. Armed only with truth, which he continuously spoke to power, he changed his immediate world and has continued to influence lives for over 2000 years with his message. The powerful have quaked, and the weak have rallied.

I am thankful for the yearly search through the dumpster that Japan provides in order to rediscover that the meaning of Christmas and Jesus’s short life for all people is that love is that ultimate power, and with it we can overcome any pain or hardship, and can live in everlasting joy.

Here is hoping you and yours revel in the love that Christmas can help us to remember.


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