Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One Step At A Time

The Facts:
I am American- always have been, always will be.
I have been living in Japan for almost eight years and I pretty much know what is expected of me.
My MIL was born to Korean parents but has lived her entire life in Japan. Although she just recently acquired Japanese citizenship, she is and always has been Japanese.
In Japan, it is considered rude to not give a return gift. This means that if I give a present to A, then A has to give a gift in return.

Having said all of that, MIL has agreed to let me give my niece and nephews presents this year. When I first met my MIL, I believed that we could somehow find a common ground seeing as we are both considered foreigners, but that was not to be. The difference is I was born and grew up in a foreign country while she was born and grew up here.

I am sure that I will get an earful when we meet at her house to exchange presents. My only wish for this Christmas is that somehow, someway we can bend instead of break. Life is too short and too precious to be spent angry and resentful.

A new year, a new start is waiting just around the corner.


Sue said...

Well I'm glad you've reached a compromise of sorts. Hope it will be a Happy Christmas...

chelle said...

I can only imagine how difficult it is trying to fit into a culture that is so different! Compromises are good!

Tammy said...

I hope it all works out for ya!!

Ame said...

choosing your battles ... i cannot imagine how difficult

Pamela said...

It sounds as if your family is very sensitive to one anothers feelings and are trying to work things out by compromise and understanding. I love the phrase you use hoping you can "bend instead of break". You are blessed to have such a loving and supportive hubby that is working for a better understanding on each of your parts.

Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, I'm so sorry this gift giving process is so painful this year. Hang in there.

Good luck!

Amy said...

You're a trooper girlfriend! :)