In Japan, where less than 1% of the population is Christian, Christmas really isn’t a religious holiday — and that’s great news for yaoi.
On the surface, Japan’s Christmas looks a lot like the modern commercial American Christmas. Glittering lights, decorated evergreen trees, wreaths, presents with big shiny bows, reindeer, and Santa. Basically, it’s Christmas minus the Christianity. Yep, pretty much identical to the Christmas I see every time I go to an American mall.
However, as you may have noticed, Japanese culture has added its own little twists to the holiday, like fried chicken for Christmas dinner and the absolute necessity of the traditional Christmas cake.
However, Japan’s biggest twist to Christmas is its reinvention of Christmas Eve, which, as it turns out, is a boon to BL.
“Are you free on the 24th?” If you said yes, are male, and happen to find yourself in a yaoi, I guarantee you that no matter how straight you think you are, you’ll be getting a boyfriend between now and Christmas Eve.
Why? Because in Japan, Christmas Eve is for lovers. In fact, it’s a holiday whose romance quotient rivals that of Valentine’s Day. Apparently, getting a reservation at a romantic restaurant on Christmas Eve in Japan is actually as difficult as on Valentine’s, possibly moreso.
It kind of makes me feel sorry for all the singles in Japan — they have twice as many days per year to feel like romantic failures. We only have to deal with February 14th (wait, does White Day make it three times the failure?).
In any case, if you’ve never had someone to spend Christmas Eve with, you’re in luck! Once you land a starring role in a yaoi, you’re definitely going to have a date on the 24th. A, um, male date, of course.
Sure, you two may suffer the drama of a snowstorm, an emergency at work, or a family member suddenly being admitted to the hospital (probably, it will turn out, just for a minor injury, like a twisted ankle or the mysteriously incapacitating “anemia”)… something that leaves you waiting hours and hours for your lover’s late arrival. But don’t worry, one way or another, he’ll get there.
And he’ll be bringing you a Christmas present, although he may end up telling you that he’s the present. If he does, make sure to take full advantage and ask for a special service… maybe something he hasn’t, ahem, done for you before?
Conversely, if you’re in a yaoi but are female, I confidently predict that your boyfriend will dump you for a guy between now and then.
Sorry, but I think I speak for the fujoshi and fudanshi of the world when I say that we really don’t feel all that bad for you, ‘cuz we’re rooting for your male rival, and he needs a boyfriend before Christmas Eve.
embrace your fate
Don’t you think the mangaka was laughing when she wrote that? Because the joke’s on him. He’ll soon discover that it’s going to be absolutely wonderful not having a girlfriend for Christmas.
And, as you’ve already guessed, he’s never going to have a girlfriend again. Not a chance. He doesn’t know it, though. Poor thing hasn’t realized the genre of the story he’s in. Yet…
Once our future seme-or-uke has accepted his fate, he’ll be ecstatic to have a boy-date on the 24th.
If, on the other hand, our protagonist doesn’t have a Christmas Eve date, he’s likely to put on a cynical face while secretly dreaming of a sweet lovey-dovey evening.
Or, if he’s the take-action sort, he’ll just start plotting how to make up for an unromantic Christmas Eve as soon as humanly possible, a plan I heartily endorse!
Ultimately, for a truly yaoi Christmas, semes and ukes alike will heed these words…
…because in Japan, Christmas Eve is for lovers.