Cooking

Christmas and Bento Boxes

Somehow on Christmas Day we ended up skating in Bryant Park (for free!) and parking right in front of the Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya. Most stores, Barnes and Noble and Starbucks included, are closed on Christmas, but Kinokuniya seemed to understand that looking at Japanese eye candy is something people want to do on holidays. But as we ate lunch behind the tinted windows of our car Kinokuniya remained closed, except to a privileged few who were let in by the owner. How fortunate, we thought. A private event on Christmas Day in Kinokuniya.

However, more and more people came and went through the store foyer and past the sign saying “closed.” Later, others hung around outside before going inside to wait in the foyer. Was the store going to open? A boy ran up to the door and his father brought him away, signing “2,” meaning two minutes, two hours, two days….?

What anyone should have realized was that the store was going to open — at noon — which was twenty minutes away. “2” (10)

Who cares about the wait? Downstairs we found the most adorable Totoro, Ponyo, and Studio Ghibli-themed stationery and toys, which were way overpriced. One large, stuffed Totoro was $395. But it was eye candy to look at and feel.

Then upstairs I discovered books on Bento boxes.

A bento box is a Japanese lunch box, traditionally filled with rice and a side of meat and vegetables. The turkey, cheese, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich American children get cannot compare with the bento nutritionally, aesthetically, or gastronomically. And in the Japanese cookbooks I found, a bento could sport the most adorable and creative designs.

Of course Christmas has been more than skating, spying, and looking at bento boxes, but it’s a reminder of how wonderful a world God has given us. And there is greater still to come.

Merry Christmas!

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