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A knock came at the door around eight in the evening, just as we were finishing eating dinner.

I yelled out, "IRANAI~~~", meaning "we don't need it", pretending that it was some late-working door-to-door salesman.

My host mom laughed and went to answer the door. She came back carrying a huge USPS box from America.

Oops. Just kidding. I need that. I really need that.

My parents in the US decided to surprise me for Christmas by mailing me a box of my favorite items from America. They somehow managed to pack a pair of pants, two jars of almond butter, five boxes of gum, four giant chucks of halva, and four packages of chocolate.

I have no idea how my parents managed to shove all of that stuff into such a small box. But knowing my parents, there is always a way.


Needless to say, I was ecstatic to receive my gift. Although my parents told me about the package beforehand, its physical presence was so overwhelming.

I felt like this kid:

Christmas in Japan in very low-key. It is not a national holiday, so Japanese people go to work and students go to school on Christmas day. Some stores, however, play Christmas music and hang up big "Merry Xmas" signs. You can even spot a Christmas tree here and there.

Christmas Tree at Tokyo Tower


My treasure chest of goodies arrived at a time when I was feeling particularly nostalgic for my family and for the American version of Christmas. Every Christmas Eve, my extended family gathers to eat, sing, pray, and enjoy each others company. I realized how much I had taken the holiday for granted and how much I missed everyone.

However, my parents' Christmas box was a warm and fuzzy cup of home.




WARNING. If you are anti-Jesus, now is a good time to stop reading. I am about to get religious up in here. This is Christmas after all.

The entire experience reminded me of 2 Bible verses.

  • Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

As mentioned before, my parents let me know beforehand about the package and asked what I wanted in it. I told them that I wanted almond butter, halva, gum, and chocolate. I was expecting a little bit of each, considering the fact that international shipping is expensive. Instead, my parents blew through all monetary considerations and presented me with two jars of almond butter, four fat pieces of halva, five boxes of gum, and four packs of chocolate. Wow.

Same goes for God. We try to be humble and ask for something small, not realizing that he has the power to give more.

  • Matthew 7:11 "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

My parents gave me a wonderful gift. And if they, being the evil sinners that they are [according to Bible], can give me such a wonderful gift, how much more with the sinless Father in heaven give to those who ask him?


Posted by DanPan 17:56 Archived in Japan

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