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Animefringe Cover Story:
An Otaku's Guide to Holiday Dating
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold, Steve Diabo (Kaneda), Ikusabe Wataru, Dai Kou, Jake Forbes, Mia Ortega and Sarah Woodcock

Ah, the holiday season. A time for being happy, giving brightly wrapped gifts, watching cheesy movies, and if you're lucky, spending your time with a loved one. Well, in Japan, Christmas takes on a life all its own that isn't restricted by religion. Nope, Christmas in Japan, also known as Kurisumasu, has a firm base in commercialism -- But isn't that how it is in most places now? You gotta please the kids... ^_^

Anyway, enough with the history lesson -- you can easily go to any search engine and type in the keywords 'christmas in japan' and get a ton of hits. So, instead of the background story, we're going to give you some pointers for how to spend this festive time of year and, in a way, help you celebrate a more 'Japanese' Christmas.

Since Japan's Kurisumasu is mainly a time for couples to express their love for one another, having a date would certainly help matters. But if you don't have one, well, you can still have a slice of Christmas Cake.

  • A really romantic thing to do is to dress warm, and head out for a nice leisurely walk so you can enjoy the beauty of your winter/Christmas suroundings.
  • What better way to spend time with a loved one than seeing the decorations around town? Pretty much any store, mall, and street with business sense has something for you to gawk at and enjoy.
  • If you aren't satisfied with looking at decorations, why not put up some decorations yourself? Better yet, why not find some mistletoe to hang and then you can share in a warm embrace.
  • Well, if you didn't take our mistletoe advice, you can always go out to eat. Find a nice romantic place to eat that isn't terribly expensive so you can spend some quality time together.
  • Another good idea is to stay at home and enjoy the warmth of a fire, make some cocoa, snuggle on the couch and watch the snow fall outside your window.
  • For all you active types, why not take your 'significant other' skiing or sledding? A long day at the slopes can be a lot of fun, and makes for some nice snuggles to get warm at the end of the day.
  • Then there is ice skating. This is certainly a fun thing to do; whether you know how to skate or *not*, it's a great way to have a little fun with the one you love.
  • When you get tired of all the exercise, you can always take your significant other on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. That's always a great way to express romance and get close. Just be sure to tip the driver well so he won't tell his buddies about your make-out session.
  • Or you could always go grocery shopping and prepare a meal together. Hey, anime characters do it all the time, why can't you?
  • You could even give it an Iron Chef twist and have your signifigant other name an ingedient for you to include on all your dishes. How tough the ingredient he or she choses a testament of not only your cooking skills, but how much slack you should expect from your partner in the future.
  • Kurisumasu is also a good time to put down your PS2 and break out the Nintendo 64. What system better captures the spirit of togetherness than the N64 with its Mario Kart, Mario Party, and good ol' GoldenEye?
  • But don't forget that December 25th is really about someone special's birthday -- That's right! Yukito Tsukishiro from Card Captor Sakura celebrates his birthday on Christmas! So if you lack a lover this holiday season, you can always celebrate by seeking out the subtitled version of Card Captor Sakura and enjoying the ambiguously yaoi relationships of Toya and Yuki.

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