12 Days of Christmas Anime: Laid-Back Camp

Day 8: Feast

Tradition is important. It helps bind us together while connecting us to past wisdom, memories, and events. But sometimes, breaking tradition is meaningful, too.

If you celebrate Christmas, you probably have traditions in your family, and perhaps more than you realize (feel free to share some of your traditions below). We have many in my household, and I love them as they add to that certain air, that “Christmas spirit” we talk about, to the holiday season. But one I don’t really care so much about it our Christmas meal. For us, it’s always been similar to Thanksgiving, but we swap out the turkey for a ham. I enjoy it—my dad is a wonderful cook and these dinners are important to him—but I wouldn’t mind trying something different. And this year, we are doing that, as my dad of all people has decided to prepare prime rib this year.

Can you hear that sound? No, not silver bells—that’s the sound of my lips smacking.

In anime, Christmas episodes usually stick to conventions, including traditions, to try to capture that Christmas spirit as well. In addition to Christmas trees and Santa outfits and snow, you’ll also see—at least in many modern episodes—KFC and Christmas cakes. But Laid-Back Camp (Yuru Camp), the charming “girls go camping” anime based on the similarly wonderful manga, is anything but traditional. It has wintertime camping, for one. And an alcoholic teacher. And of course, Santa Clangers.

But most unusual, at least from my “eat your Christmas ham” perspective, is the food choice: sukiyaki.

Even for the girls, sukiyaki was a surprising choice. Aoi was the one who decided on the course, having brought high quality meat she won in a contest to the camping trip and offering the food and its preparation as her gift to the group. But in the run-up to the trip, she wasn’t yet sure what to cook. It was her grandmother who offered sukiyaki as an option, and at first, Aoi was not having it.

But her grandmother goes on to explain that sukiyaki is a food you have on special days with lots of people. And so to her, and now to Aoi, it made perfect sense as a meal for this trip. The rest of the camping girls heartily agreed, I think, based on how well they ate up the special dish.

You see, tradition is good, but it’s important to consider why you do what you do. Do you give gifts? That might be wonderful, but is it overshadowing the gift of Christ? Putting up a Christmas tree? That might be great, but your tiny studio apartment might be better off with a different centerpiece decoration. And Christmas goose for the holiday? Maybe you should go with sukiyaki instead. No matter what, if your holiday is centered where it should be, I think you’ll remain in that Christmas spirit, with all your annual traditions in place or not.

Now let us know, what do you like to eat at Christmas? Any other traditions? How about something different you’re doing this year?

As for me…I might go with bacon and beer.

Or maybe not.

Watch the Christmas episode of Laid-Back Camp on Crunchyroll (or read the manga). Tomorrow we take a look at episode 10 of March Comes in Like a Lion.


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