5 Ways to Avoid the Most Depressing Christmas Ever

Pretty depressing, to say the least.

Regardless of where you are, and what the locals do, ‘tis the season to be jolly. However ‘tis also the season not to be broke, which is inevitably what a plane ticket home for the holidays will render you. If you’re staying put this Christmas, here is a heads up of what to expect, and some tips on how to spend your holiday season without crying into a Colonel Sanders bucket.

1. Get busy sending your new Japanese friends and co-workers Christmas cards. They’ll surely be sending you some for the New Year, so stock up on construction paper and crayons and set the bar high.

2. Introduce a local to eggnog. While your non-Japanese friends might protest, on this side of the pond, we all know a little nama tamago never killed anyone. Think of this as your year to finally follow the authentic raw egg (nogg) recipe without feeling like a salmonella monger. But don’t go adding any cinnamon now—one foreign taste sensation at a time.

3. If you’re an English teacher, expose your students to the lesser known aspects of Christmas. Of course, your holiday lesson plan may include the usual suspects like presents, Christmas trees and Santa’s weakness for cookies made by kiddies, but also point out that North Americans are not just a bunch of consumerist hogs and carbohydrate gluttons. No, no! We reduce and reuse through the careful practice of re-gifting, and despite Santa being a metabol, he still manages to squeeze down that chimney, doesn’t he?

4. Whether you’re in Thailand or Tahiti you can re-create Christmas on your own terms. I remember spending last December 25th on an airplane to Bangkok, feeling like the only thing that distinguished that day from any other was that I got to watch The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants…in ENGLISH. Don’t back down on roasting those chestnuts on an open fire, even if Jack Frost isn’t nipping at your nose. Other portable Christmas activities? Put ornaments on a bonsai, hang Christmas lights on your balcony or download some Kenny G tunes and remind yourself of what you’re NOT missing this Christmas.

5. Last and least instructive, brace yourself. If you live in an urban area you’re going to see a lot of Yankees wearing sleazy Santa suits. It may bring a tear to your eye to see the jolly man of your childhood reduced to a lanky yamanba with bronzer staining her Santa hat, but just remember: the Power Rangers were based on samurai warriors. So put aside your preconceptions and check out the legs on Santa!

-Marika Galazda

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