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Thursday, December 22, 2005



Hi Mari! I've been enjoying your wonderful blog for a while now (first time posting), just wanted to say thanks for allowing us to share in a tiny bit of your life. :)

On this particular topic I'd have to say in general, Americans tend to pay a lot of Christmas, yes. Consumerism is high here, especially among parents as children can be quite good at driving their parents batty for the newest toy and fad. My family tends to be on the cheap side though. We aren't religious and the gift giving tends to not be commercialized either, instead we buy a few practical items for one another.. so at most it might be around 200-250 American dollars range.

As for cheeseparing? Yes, you're right. Its an english word meaning stingy and penny-pinching and it was used properly, I believe. I think why it was seen as possibly amusing was the fact as (at least in my experience) its rarely used. I can only honestly recall using it once in my life and that was on a 5th grade spelling homework assignment (if my memory is correct), which is also when I first learned of it. It actually took me a few moments to remember what it meant. Hehehe.

Oh and your grammar is quite good. We all slip up in it, especially native speakers such as myself. I'm sure my post is full of grammatical errors, as well, So don't worry too much. :)


Hi Norman
Thank you for yoru warm words, but I want to you to read my blog easily. My grammer is so bad.

Anyway cheeseparing is funny to use?? My dictionary said cheeseparing means stingy person...


Yeah, the amount people spend on Christmas is ridiculous. Before the ridiculous “happy holidays” controversy, the main controversy surrounding Christmas was its over-commercialization. Relevant article: http://www.reason.com/links/links121905.shtml

Claire (クレア)

Often, when you have many siblings, the cost of giving Christmas presents to everyone can be high. So we decided to pick only one person (by drawing a name) and giving a present to that one person only. We also set a $75 limit on the amount that could be spent on the present. There are other gift-giving holidays, but Christmas seems to be the single major gift-giving day here.

People also give gifts on Valentine's Day (unlike Japan, both women and men give chocolates, and there is no concept of the 'girichoko'), birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, wedding anniversaries, but not so much as on Christmas.

I do agree with Confusatron. Ochuugen, Oseibo, otoshidama, omiyage, and the various money gifts related to weddings and funerals can really mount up throughout the year. (If a family member dies, it seems like you have to give a noshibukuro at each ceremony, and there are a lot during the first month.) It seems to be really tough on businesspeople, because they have to remember all of their customers as well. (Well, not with otoshidama!)


I learned a new word from Mari today - "cheeseparing"!

I think the difference is because Christmas is the only time people exchange gifts here. Japan seems to spread it out over the whole year with Oseibo, Omiyage, etc.

Dr Norman Holtz, DMD

I am a proofreader. You do not need one for the folowing reason: You sound so honest, so real, so Japanese, that I would not change anything. To do so would "Americanize" you,
and that would be a shame. Please keep writing in your own beautiful style. Write your soul. Not a translation of your soul.
norm holtz, New York.

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