Hello everyone, and Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
Christmas in Japan is much smaller than it is in the U.S. Here, there will be some lights up at one or two houses in a neighbourhood and lights along the main streets, and you’ll hear Christmas music in stores. Christmas trees are usually for young kids, though, as are presents, and once they grow up that tradition stops. Most people work on Christmas if it’s on a weekday (yay for Sunday Christmas this year!), and Christmas Eve seems to be a popular date night more than anything else.
There’s always the usual homesickness we feel seeing everyone’s beautiful trees and presents and dinners on Facebook, but now that we’re on our 4th Christmas away from home, it’s not as bad as it once was.
In any case, Paul and I had a pretty laid-back Christmas. There was no gift-opening morning this year – our Christmas present to ourselves is a trip to South Korea! We’ll be leaving tomorrow!
Here’s what happened this week:
The last kyushoku (school lunch) of the year: udon noodles, dumpling, pickled salad, and a yogurt drink! Delicious! (Though the noodles are really hard to eat – do you see how much soup is in that bowl? Let’s just say I made a bit of a mess…)
After the closing ceremony in the morning, the kids went home and the teachers all went out. To save money, I went ahead and ordered in. Garlic ramen!
That night we had an end-of-the-year work party, which you can read about here!
Paul was Santa again, this time at a kindergarten, so no moms flirting with him this time, alas! Of the children plopped on his lap and forced by their teachers to give him a high five, at least half a dozen cried. Good job, Santa!
We went to Carter’s Bar on Friday night for a Christmas party. It was low-key, which was really nice. This is the local bar we go to a lot. It’s nice and small, there are live shows every so often, and Koba, the bar tender, is super cool. He likes to collect mugs from around the world! Somewhere in there is a Blue Room mug my parents brought from KC.
Cool weather means snuggle-bug cats! We had a three day weekend, so we saw a lot of these lil guys. Anytime either of us were on the bed, the cats were there, too, ready to curl up on our laps or our feet.
And Christmas! We went to the grocery store the day before with the intent of buying a small ham, but for once the meat section was selling more than just overpriced tiny steaks! There was actual beef rump roast! So I made beef stew from this recipe, and instant mashed potatoes from a package from the Kislings (thanks guys!), and Paul made pecan pie (again from a care package…thank you!)
And that was our week! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, and I hope you all have an equally amazing (or even better!) New Year’s Eve!
The next time I post, I’ll be in South Korea!