It’s no secret that the Christmas season brings out the best and worst in people. I tend to focus on the former since I’m a big believer in the “holiday spirit” for an excuse to put differences and disagreements aside and just be nice to people. Like not getting upset and honking that the car that just cut in front of you, or giving an extra tip amount to your waiter.
Kindness can spread like wild fire as well, but you have to light the first match.
Taiga from Toradora! thinks in a similar way. Normally a fiery and sometimes violent young woman, around Christmas she suddenly transforms into a sweet “angel” that Ryuuji can hardly believe it. In fact, through a span of 3 episodes about Christmas in Toradora!, Taiga stays in her “good self”, which Ryuuji discovers may actually be part of her true self (or so we hope).
But why is Taiga good around this time of year? Santa, of course! But it goes a bit deeper than getting presents from a bearded man in a red suit. She sends a Christmas package full of gifts to an orphanage she used to volunteer at (during her all girls Catholic school days) and always addresses it as “from Santa”. When Ryuuji inquires why, Taiga simply answers, “I want to tell them that there’s someone out there watching over them. Even if you don’t have parents or don’t believe in God, someone is still watching over you.”
It’s because she actually believes that despite having to live alone because of her dysfunctional family, someone is still watching over her. Christmas is her reminder of this and she wants to share that with as many people as she can.
You may have heard the term “Christmas miracle” (it’s from “It’s a Wonderful Life”!), and it’s oddly become a fairly staple saying in my immediate family when something “miraculous” happens. XD
After all the build up before the Christmas party in Toradora!, we finally get to experience a few of those Christmas miracles.
Ami and Taiga, from the first time they met each other, have been butting heads and throwing insults at each other. Thus, it was to everyone’s surprise that they both dress up and sing a Christmas song together at the party.
In fact, to this day, it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs (of all time). You can listen to it here (couldn’t find one with subs, though, apologies): Click here for song.
But the miracles do not stop there. After the song, Ryuuji hears that Taiga has returned home. After all her planning to get Ryuuji together with his crush (and her best friend, Minori), she decided that she should be out of the way. Yet, Ryuuji will not stand for this and ends up trading his suit for a Santa bear suit and climbing in Taiga’s window to surprise her.
Taiga knows it’s Ryuuji, but the surprise of him coming to see her instead of staying at the party really does surprise her and makes it one of best Christmas-es ever.
The set of episodes does end on a fairly sad note (Taiga realizes she loves Ryuuji, and Minori, despite also liking Ryuuji, rejects him because she knows Taiga likes him), but despite that, it still holds hope for the new year following closely afterwards.
Truthfully, this year I have been feeling a bit out of the “Christmas spirit”, but after re-watching some of Toradora, I’m glad I still have 5 more days to make up for lost time. I encourage you all to enjoy the holidays and not rush through it. It goes by far too quickly, so savor it while it’s here. ^_^