Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Very Marry Chistmas!

Christmas in Japan is different, as you might imagine. It's a huge ordeal for us in the states, with traditions changing depending on where you're located, the type of family you have, and so on. Here, however, it's mostly one day of partying, a one gift affair, and then it's back to normalcy until New Years, which seems to be a bigger holiday. No lights are in evidence, and the only decoration is an odd Santa hat or a beard or snowman pasted here and there. Even Christmas trees are rare; the one thing I really doted on and enjoyed doing is mostly for the obsessed or some particularly festive families. Nevertheless, at school we DID do Christmas cards. As I've shown you before in a previous post, my kids are skilled artists and also middle schoolers, which means that there is no telling the kind of stuff that comes out of their pens and minds. I've collected a few Christmas cards together to show off and to make your special day a little brighter!

Originally this said "Poor Dag", but you can see the student used some whiteout to change it to Duck after the teacher brought the mistake to his attention. This card makes me laugh every time I see it. Santa lost some weight and really changed his outlook on the way things are going to work from NOW ON.

Speaking of changing your outlook, this is what happens when Santa loses everything he has, including the reindeer, and has to drag all the presents around on the ground, losing some in the process, to every house. That, or he's reverse Santa-ing, and he just got done TAKING those presents. His demeanor of "I really don't want to be doing this anymore" seems to support either interpretation.

"MERY CRITHMAS," the nightmare said as it seized its nose and conjured a fireball from thin air. "I'LL SEE YOU THOON, KIDTH."

Uhhh....? Aw, man, it feels wrong just LOOKING at something like this. If you don't believe me, check out that reindeer, er, reindog.

                                                           SEE BELOW FOR THE INSERT

This card is BANGIN, despite it's obvious verbal transmutation on the cover. The presents pop up like....well, a pop-up book. I really dig what my kids do with the third dimension. A bunch of the cards this year had inserts that popped out at you when you opened the card. You'd pay like 7 bucks for this at Hallmark, if you could get it at all. I hope I get to keep all of these when we take them down.

"Billy.... is that you Billy? You've grown so much, Billy. My God, what's it been... 7 years? Does your mother still deliver mail to the North Pole? It's like I'm looking in a mirror...."

This is what snowmen look like in the southern hemisphere: sunburned.

When I made that sheet for you to pick your favorite greeting and use it in your card, I hadn't anticipated an exact copy on this phrase. The girl in the picture even seems to be sweating with worry over something. Perhaps she's worried someone will find Santa where she hid him. Or... what's left of him....DUN DUN DUUUNNNN


 Hm. These girls are "working." I wonder if this was traced...?

Good! I'm gla

I imagine this Santa as an insane Jack Nicholson, and "it's 'beautiful'" is like "HERE'S JOHNNY" from The Shining. Why else would the snowman be that freaked out?

I wish I knew what a Koba was. A milkman? When I wrote this particular phrase I had envisioned the kids putting a nonspecific noun in there, like Mom or Dad or whatever. But instead, most of the kids actually put a specific person or thing. It's actually pretty cute, but you live and you learn. I'll explain it better next time. Or....maybe I won't. But this would actually be funnier if it said "Dad", and this were the student's conception of his/her Dad. Awesome.

...or, don't. I couldn't care less. Humbug!
Yeesh. Santa seems to have harnessed a demon this year instead of reindeer. Maybe he's looking to shave a few hours off his time...?

(If you're having trouble with the above video, here is a link to this video on my Youtube channel: http://youtu.be/z2M4dzt-HT0)
Finally, this isn't a card (obviously), but it's a 30 second video I took of the snow falling quietly on the mountains as seen from the third floor of my school. I think it's really lovely, and if you're Christmas isn't white, feel free to channel some of this snow and fuel your yuletide joy. Goodness knows we get plenty of snow.
As of this writing (Christmas day), I am on a vacation in Taiwan! Seeing these pictures certainly makes me miss my kids, and seeing some of the festivities here makes me miss all my family and friends back home. With any luck, I'll make it in next Christmas. I'm really enjoying my trip, but nothing beats being with those you love on Christmas. And I mean nothing. So today, even if it is just today, love your family and friends like it's the first time you've seen them in a long time, and when it's time to let them go, let them go like it's the last time you'll see them in a long time. I'm certainly a fool when it comes to many things, but each day I am learning the wonder of home, and the pricelessness of family.

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