Halloween may have taken over as my favourite season for a few years in the early-mid 2010s but Christmas is now well and truly back on top. The festive season is admittedly just all build-up with very little at the end as there are very few presents to unwrap and no Christmas meal to eat on the 25th! Still, it’s nice to get in the mood and that has begun very early these last couple of years as one needs something to get mildly excited about given the Covid_19 times we live in.
There’s been a deluge of festive films released on streaming services this year and I have sifted my way through far too many of them. I didn`t think I’d be able to watch so many this year but then my wife got a new job that started at the end of October thus freeing up most of my mornings to watch Christmas movies before work!
Keen to beat last years total of 46 festive films, I actually began viewing them before Halloween had even passed! To be fair, it was still a week after the Hallmark Channel had started their ‘Countdown To Christmas’ season! I did watch ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas‘ (1993) but I don’t include that here as I consider it a Halloween film despite the word Christmas in the title!
The full list of films that I watched are at the foot of this post for anyone interested (No, I didn’t think so!) and for those who can’t be bothered to tally them up the final total was a whopping 69 movies! If you think that I reached that number just for mild amusement then you’re right! 69 dudes! I had no total in mind but as I got to the last few days I realised that 69 was highly likely and so I decided to make it happen! Sad I know!
A common theme in some of those films is putting the star on top of the tree but I can’t say it gave me too much satisfaction!
This was the second Christmas to have with our dog. He was joined by Grogu (a.k.a. The Child from ‘The Mandalorian‘) but he still doesn’t really like the lifesize Yoda-like doll! The same couldn’t be said of my wife’s nephew who enjoyed playing with him despite not really knowing who he was!
On Christmas Day it really did not take too long to open all of our presents under the tree! They came courtesy of my parents who had seen that tweet of mine in November about putting the tree up. Feeling sorry that we had nothing to open under the tree, they sent a present for each of us.
Maron was delighted with his presents!
A popular event during the festive season in Japan is the illuminations which pop up in and around Tokyo. The best ones which I saw were at Tokyo Midtown and the Harry Potter Bright Christmas in Marunouchi.
A far less impressive sight is what some of the convenience stores have outside their shops isn’t it? Not for me, I like it! The snowman outside Family Mart was my favourite!
Snow is all part of the typical Christmas image, and at the end of November there was plenty of it during Leicester’s home game against Watford which saw the legendary manager Claudio Ranieri return to the King Power Stadium as an opposition manager for the first time since leaving the club in 2017. It was an unbelievable game!
On the topic of snowmen, we seamlessly move on to food and this choco-cream cake in the shape of a snowman (obviously!) which was very nice.
The most famous food at Christmas for Japanese people is fried chicken and people have been lining up to get their dose of it. On the 23rd my friend James and I decided to eat 30 Chicken McNuggets (with special seasonal sauces) each as McDonalds were advertising their 30 for 750 yen special. Presumably that’s a family size portion rather than just for one person! It may have been something of a challenge for us two amateurs but a quick google search shows the pros can do at least four times more!
Another delicacy which I tried in the run up to the big day was this curry drink! Admittedly, I didn’t read the can properly beforehand and actually thought it might be curry flavoured soda or juice. As it was, it was just a can of curry soup! It was really nice though and I even bought it a couple of times more after that!
A tiramisu sandwich was another slightly weird but multiple purchase item for me. Such dessert style sandwiches are quite common in Japan.
Due to our trip to the UK in 2019 and Coronavirus in 2020, this year was time to revive eating yakiniku (grilled barbecue meat) on Christmas Eve which had become something of a tradition before all that!
An energy drink or two was needed earlier that day to get me through the final few festive films in order to reach my desired tally. As I had one green (Monster) can and one red (Red Bull) one I decided to make my own Christmas coloured jägerbomb of sorts! I wish I hadn’t is all I’ll say!
Back in my final week of work I did a couple of new songs in my Christmas lessons including one actual new song. This years collaboration between Ed Sheeran and Elton John has been a big hit back in the UK and deservedly so as it ticks all of the boxes when it comes to writing a Christmas classic. It proved to be a popular addition to my ever-growing number of lyrical gap-fill activities. The other new song for me this year was the rather silly “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson 5 which I was keen to try out as some of the lyrics are totally indecipherable. The words I erased for the students to fill in were some of the easier ones to hear though.
Click on the following links to read about Christmas in Tokyo for previous years:
(*) Boyfriends Of Christmas Past (2021); You, Me & The Christmas Trees (2021); The Santa Stakeout (2021), Christmas In Harmony (2021); Coyote Creek Christmas (2021); Christmas Sail (2021); Spotlight On Christmas (2020); A Christmas Love Story (2019); Christmas On Wheels (2020); Christmas 9 To 5 (2019); Gingerbread Miracle (2021); Never Trust A Man In A Christmas Sweater (2020); Christmas Unleashed (2019); White Reindeer (2013); Love Hard (2021); A Christmas Treasure (2021); Christmas, Again (2014); Home Sweet Home Alone (2021); Next Stop, Christmas (2021); My Christmas Family Tree (2021); The Night Before (2015); Father Christmas Is Back (2021); One Magic Christmas (1985); Christmas Comes Twice (2020); A Christmas Eve Miracle (2015); Nantucket Noel (2021); The Princess Switch (2018); The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (2020); The Princess Switch 3:Romancing The Star (2021); Jack Frost (1998); Deck The Halls (2006); National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989); Making Spirits Bright (2021); Christmas At Castle Hart (2021); Christmas Lost & Found (2018); Christmas CEO (2021); An Unexpected Christmas (2021); 8-Bit Christmas (2021); The Christmas Contest (2021); Christmas In Tahoe (2021); A Kiss Before Christmas (2021); Eight Gifts Of Hanukkah (2021); Single All The Way (2021); Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday (2021); The Nine Kittens Of Christmas (2021); Let It Snow (2019); Office Christmas Party (2016); A Very Merry Bridesmaid (2021); A Dickens Of A Holiday (2021); Last Christmas (2019); Happy Christmas (2014); A Castle For Christmas (2021); Christmas Again (2021); Sister Swap: Christmas In The City (2021); Klaus (2019); On The 12th Date Of Christmas (2020); The Christmas House (2020); The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls (2021); Tis The Season To Be Merry (2021); Blending Christmas (2021); A Boy Called Christmas (2021); The Knight Before Christmas (2019); Jingle All The Way (1996); Scrooged (1988); Krampus (2015); A Very Vintage Christmas (2019); Home Alone (1990); A Bad Moms Christmas (2017); Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992).