Merry Christmas everyone. Many years ago, I stopped sending Christmas cards. Last year, I stopped sending out traditional Japanese New Years cards and sent email instead. This year, I'm going to stop sending email greetings as well. I hate to be a scrooge, but firing up my bulk mailer, importing my address book and spewing forth my seasons greetings feels way too much like spam.
Thanks to my birthday script, I have a way to spread greetings to my friends across the whole year instead of having to pack it all into one day. (By the way, if I don't know you, you're not going to get a personal greeting...) So please excuse me if you don't get a electronic greeting card from me for the holidays. As Seth says, I think this is one more treasured tradition that has become roadkill along the information super-highway.
On that note, does anyone know who decided that in Japan, Christmas was the day that you were supposed to go on a date with your honey and end up in a hotel room? Every restaurant has a special Christmas menu tonight for couples and ALL of the hotel will be booked by couples for a romantic evening.
Did you know that Japanese families will be lining up in front of Kentucky Fried Chickens today to get their chicken for Christmas? I DO know where this comes from. When my friend Shin, introduced KFC to Japan, the ad campaign showed wealthy American families all eating friend chicken for their holiday feast. KFC was marketed as an upscale food of the privileged in America. This triggered a tradition in Japan for families to eat friend chicken on Christmas.
(I'm on a roll now...)
And you DO know that in Japan only men receive chocolates on Valentine's Day and that women receive their chocolates on "White Day" one month later. (This notion was introduced by the confectionary industry in Japan.) People are encouraged to give chocolates widely and these chocolates are called giri choko (obligatory indebtedness chocolates) in Japanese.
So, although I'm a sucker for ritual, this is all getting a bit crazy for me. I think I'm going p-time on this whole situation and will give people gifts and greet people spontaneously and in a load-balanced way so I don't get thrown out with the spam.