A Christmas Message from the First Church of Hayao Miyazaki, Anno 2001
First of all, I wish to offer my sincere thanks to The Shower Scene for allowing me this opportunity to speak to you. Okay, they really just needed something to fill this space, and I suggested a Christmas message.
It is once again the time of year when one's thoughts turn to many different things--shopping, spending, travelling, eating, drinking, shopping and spending more, and then drinking some more to help get over it. Yes, kind reader, I refer to Christmas. People have many different ways to celebrate this holiday--Midnight Mass, family get-togethers, throwing elaborate corporate bashes because they made more money than last year's fourth quarter. Regular people can wait for the buses in relative peace, since it's too cold for annoying street preachers to come out. For anime fans, it is a time of reflection on all the anime they have watched in the previous year and hopes for more good anime to watch in the future (and the terrible weather's an excellent excuse to stay in and watch even more anime).
If you are more inclined to celebrate the birthday of an anime figure rather than that of the Christian deity, Sumire's Anime Birthday Calendar lists twelve characters (and one real person) as having their birthdays on December 25th. You can either choose one to sympathize with or raise a toast to each and every one of them if you need an excuse.
In Miyazaki news, His most recent movie, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (AKA Spirited Away), has just broken box office records in Japan. Our Leader has rightfully taken back His crown from the evil Titanic, without having to resort to Leonardo DiCaprio. When celebrating the holiday this year, please be sure to raise an extra glass for Miyazaki (and yes, we'll have one, too, thank you very much). If you don't drink, you can perch a small Totoro plushie in the branches of your Christmas tree instead. For added effect, play a recording of ocarina music or, better yet, play the ocarina yourself; they're cheap at the Ottawa Folklore Centre. There are those who feel that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will overtake Sen to Chihiro in short order. As much as I enjoy what I've read of Ms. Rowling's work, we at the First Church know who our loyalties lay with. Go get 'em, Hayao-san!
And since Christmas is considered a time for children--just check out how much advertising is targetted at them during this time--and Miyazaki obviously loves children, try to keep in touch with your childlike spirit. In fact, why not go tobogganing at some point (unless health reasons do not permit)? Do so in moderation, though; throwing a tantrum because you didn't get the big toy you wanted makes you look bad when you're in your mid-to-late 20's.
In the name of Miyazaki, Watase and the Holy CLAMP, enjoy your holidays, live, love, laugh, loaf and watch more anime.
Co-founder, testimony and public relations
The First Church of Hayao Miyazaki.