Jikiden Reiki

Jikiden Reiki is the Reiki from its birth place, Japan.
Nothing is added or amended from its original teaching from Mr. Chujiro Hayashi, one of the 20 students of Mr. Usui, the founder of Reiki.

31 Oct 2010

birthday parties

Since our children started to go to school, the amount of invitations
for the birthday parties dramatically increased!

Again, I did not grow up with birthday parties, same as Halloween. 

In Japan, we don't have fun celebrations like a wedding showers,
baby showers, Easters, Halloween. 

 Birthday parties in Japan?   It is a good excuse for 
young adults to go out and have a party with friends, 
but not so much for children. 
At least, around my family, 30 years ago until
I moved to Canada 11 years ago.

Well, let me tell you, 

I think Japanese culture puts more importance
on people's death than birth.

We have more official ceremonies
around people's death.

We have the evening service to start after a person died. 
People gather in the evening of the day of a person passed away.  
Then official funerals within 2 days or so, 49days memorial service, 
then 1 year memorial service,and 3rd, 7th, 13th, 33th year 
memorial service, then finish with 50th service.

Yes, we have ceremonies to respect the ancestor who passed away 
50 years ago!


When I started the family here in Canada, 
I did not know what to do with all these celebrations.
Since we have 3 children, birthday parties became
part of our bi-weekly schedule.

I am so happy that my children are invited to their 
friend's birthday parties, of course!

I was having fun to go out for presents shopping, 
buy cards, bags, wrappings.

By the time we are ready for the gift, we spend quite 
a bit of money, and that was OK for me.
For some reason, spending money for other children makes
it more fun than for my own children.   " ??? "

But when I was at the party and at the present opening time,

I started to question myself, do I feel good?


Envelopes are ripped open, 
it took 30minutes to let my kids to write those cards are 
put them in a pile on the side,
wrappings are also ripped open, 
plastics packaging that can not be recycled,

"Oh no, I bought the same gift that the other friend gave."


Oh, ripping open the wrappings are also not in 
Japanese culture.

When I first time saw the Canadian ways to 
rip open the gift, I thought 

"Oh no!  We can't save it anymore!"

Japanese people, we tend to open the wrappings 
very carefully
Peel the tapes very carefully so we don't
damage the beautiful wrapping paper.

Fold them nice an neat and 
put them in a special place.
Re-use them for other occasions.

Since I start teach Reiki, I am teaching about being
eco friendly by taking care of our own health.

Creating unnecessary garbage does not go with the teaching!

Anyway, I decided to keep Japanese ways of the gift.
But in a creative way that, maybe, hoping, people 
like the idea.

Giving money as a gift !

This way, save some gas to go shopping,
no worries for the same gift, 
birthday boy can save the money for later and 
buy something he likes, 
no producing non-recyclable plastics,
etc etc etc.

This is my creative way of gift money.

   Iron 2 x $5 or $10 bills, maybe $20 bills if I am feeling rich!

   Origami time !

   Make a gift box and put some gem stones.

    A gift basket with a gem stone looks cute, too!

   Decorate with a ribbon.

   Wrapping, just like the big gift, and make a tiny card!

   Even make an envelope with a tiny heart sticker.
As you can tell, I used to obsessed with tiny things.
 I love doll house furnitures, tiny lego binoculars and 
polly pockets shoes.

   Then wrap it again to make it look like a big gift.
   I use colourful tissue paper, so then I don't feel too bad
   when it is ripped open.

If your children receive a gift like this,
I am not being lazy, but I am trying to be eco friendly,
and introduce Japanese culture at the same time !

Dont' get me wrong, I like birthday parties,
but I just don't like the garbage that comes 
with birthday parties.


Tamikko said...

love this idea! I think birthday parties can be so expensive. I usually end up spending $30 with the wrapping etc. I love you little box made of money and the precious stones.
A great green idea Mari :)

Mari Okazaki said...

Oh Thanks!
Collect some of our money box, and save for a favorite toy to buy later!

Bless Yourself said...

Wow... what a neat idea!

Faye said...

Mari I really love your beautiful gift giving. Thank you for sharing both your thoughts and your ideas. We all need to put more thought into ways we can be kind to the earth. As parents, our actions, both small and large, are being watched by our little ones.