• 2015.12.24
  • Spirit of Christmas
My first post is about Christmas. Christmas in Los Angeles is the holiday that many people look forward to most in the year, relaxing with family and relatives with children receiving lots of presents. Some companies even give their employees paid vacation borne by the company for the second half of December.


I have heard Christmas being compared to New Year’s holidays, but after 13 years in the U.S., I have come to feel that the spirit is totally different from the start. The warm and exciting spirit of the Christmas holidays is revealed in the act of giving heartfelt gifts to cherished family members.

I may have become more aware of Christmas in this light after getting married in 2013. My husband is an American from San Diego, California. Although I came here alone when I was 20, I gained a sudden wealth of relatives when we got married. In addition to my husband’s grandparents, parents, brother, and sister, we get together with over 20 relatives for Christmas, including my 11-year-old niece and 15-year-old twin nieces.


One 15-year-old niece posted on Instagram, “I’m obsessed with Brandy Melville’s clothes. All I want for Christmas.”
According to Business Insider, Brandy Melville is the current hot clothing brand for teens. Faded cropped T-shirts or pale oversized sweaters with denim hot pants or deep red flared miniskirts — these nostalgic outfits remind me of the 70s. I was about her age when I started buying secondhand clothing, and I think back to myself 17 years ago. I chose a striped T-shirt cut so that it just reveals your belly for my niece. I sent a text to her phone saying, “I hope you’ll like it.”


I had no idea what my other niece who is 11 would want, so my husband sent an e-mail to his brother. He replied that she is really into Japanese anime and especially likes Naruto. For my niece that is hooked on Japanese subculture, I went to the Kinokuniya on a corner in Little Tokyo in downtown LA. What I found there was a poster-sized 2016 Naruto calendar. I wonder if she will like the calendar that has Naruto plastered on every page. I only see her once a year, but I feel as though I have become a little closer to her through anime.

What I sensed after spending the weekend Christmas shopping, was that thinking about gifts brought me closer to the culture of the teenage girls. Also, by having a sense of curiosity myself about those interests, I gain a Christmas spirit of kindness and compassion.

That night I fell asleep counting the nights until Christmas, imagining the girls’ happy faces.


  • Takae Nagamiya
  • JobUnited States certified public accountant

I moved to the U.S. in 2003. After graduating from the University of Oregon, I worked as a certified U.S. accountant conducting audits for one of the Big Four accounting firms .I currently work as the manager of the finance department at a visual media company.My hobby is studying writing skills. I will talk about what I learn and enjoy about the lifestyle in Los Angeles.

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