What’s your Christmas Day like?
The thing about Christmas is that unlike Thanksgiving, which is specific to America and features so many of the same rituals in households across the country, Christmas crosses borders, languages, cultures, and customs. There are certainly foods and rituals we associate with it, but differences abound—your neighbor might celebrate the day in an entirely different way than you do.
We see that with the girls of Yuru Camp, who, separated from the religious and western cultural traditions associated with Christmas, celebrate it in their favorite way—through camping!
In episode ten, the girls plan for their Christmas trip (and Rin is convinced to join the Outclub in going), while episode eleven shows their excursion. Besides a scene where the girls all don Santa gear, the episode doesn’t feel especially Christmasy. Chasing after dogs with a group of kids, cooking sukiyaki, and carrying firewood to a campsite doesn’t feel at all like Christmas—well, at least not to me.
But maybe that’s the point, and in a variety of ways. Christmas isn’t as bound to tradition as Thanksgiving. Your Christmas is no better or worse because it didn’t feature a ham or goose, or because you didn’t open dozens of presents delivered by Santa, or because snow dropped on your rooftop the night before. Nor are you excluded from celebrating because your family or culture or country doesn’t recognize the holiday. While many rail about Christmas losing its meaning (and there’s certainly validity there), I’m in awe that the world celebrates the birth of Christ, even when so many celebrating don’t even believe in him. How wondrous is that!
So my encouragement to you is to celebrate on the 25th. Don’t let the doldrums of the season or the lack of festivity in your household dominate your spirit. Cook a ham. Give a present. Watch Charlie Brown (or Love Hina!). Sing O Come, All Ye Faithful.
And rejoice, because Christmas isn’t Nat King Cole and jingle bells—it’s far more. It’s a celebration.
Day 4: Tomorrow we visit episode 37 of Gintama, which is only one of the long-running series’ Christmas episodes.
Yuru Camp can be streamed through Crunchyroll.