Advent Calendar

My four-year-old son just received an advent calendar as a gift from his Nana’s friend. An advent calendar is a Christmas tradition that basically counts down the days until Christmas Day. These days, you can see a variety of advent calendars at sweets shops here in Japan, too. It’s very exciting for kids to open a little door and get a treat or candy every day until Christmas Day. This year’s advent calendar is a bit different – it’s an online calendar that presents him with a new game, puzzle, or an animated story every day! We have already activated it and can enjoy some activities, including puzzles and decorating trees.

Like most Japanese people, I look forward to New Year’s holiday, during which families get together, eat a lot and (for some) drink too much! So when I explain Japanese Oshogatsu to people from other countries, I often use the Christmas celebration as an example. I remember that my mother-in-law once said “Oh, it’s 6 months to Christmas!” in June and I thought it was interesting. I think it would be really fun to have a similar thing to this advent calendar for Japanese kids to countdown to their Oshogatsu.

My family moved into our new home this year that is more spacious than our old apartment, so we decided to buy a bigger Christmas tree. We decorated it yesterday with lovely ornaments and shiny tinsel. Each year, we buy one special ornament to add to our collection. Our previous little tree was starting to get overloaded, but from this year, we have started to add them to the new tree. I think it looks great! I find all these days before Christmas really fun and exciting! How about you?

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

~~~これ知ってた?~~~

★advent:「出現、到来、キリスト降臨(こうりん)」を意味するこの単語。文中にあるように、advent calendarは12月1日からクリスマスまでカウントダウンをしていくカレンダーで、最近ではその日の部分の扉をあけるとキャンディーやおもちゃなどが入っているものや、オンラインでゲームやパズルなどが楽しめるものなど色々楽しいものがいっぱいあります!

★Nana : 「おばあちゃん」を呼ぶ時に子供が使います。ちなみに「おじいちゃん」を呼ぶ時はPoppyと言っています。 彼のいとこは、もう片方のおじいちゃん、おばあちゃんをGrandma Grandpaと呼んでいたりして、日本語で言うお母さんとママ、おばあちゃんとばーばの違いのようなものなのでしょうね。

★activate:「作動させる」という意味で、ここでは一番初めにIDやCodeを入力してそれを使えるようにすることです。Activateしたことで、オンラインのカレンダーが使えるようになり、ゲームやパズルができるようになったのですね!

★overloaded:「積みすぎた」という状態を表します。以前飾っていたクリスマスツリーが小さく、オーナメントでいっぱいの状態だったのですね!