Monday, December 27, 2010

First Christmas in Tokyo

I knew going into the holiday season, that this one would be a bit strange.  New country -one that does not acknowledge this Christian holiday, first Christmas without my Dad, no family or friends and only about 3.5% of our worldly belongings - mostly clothes.  I wasn't bah humbug, but nor was I singing Jingle Bells at the top of the lungs either.  Needless to say, my expectations were low but I'm very happy to report that Christmas Eve and day were actually really nice.  Surprise, surprise. The husband and I made a joint decision to not worry about exchanging gifts this year (this NEVER happens) and instead wait until the dust has settled a bit to do some shopping.  After a few glasses of wine, he did mumble "wow, I really owe you big time this year..." To which I replied, "cha ching".  I kid, somewhat.  Hence, there is a pair of very large pair of diamond earrings out there with my name on them.

Christmas Eve was low key and at home.  I made lasagna, Caesar salad and we had a delicious Pinot Noir that G and I had procured from a local wine merchant earlier in the day.  Apparently feeling sorry for me trying to keep a 2 year old from picking up every stinkin' glass bottle in the store, the merchant offered me a rather sizeable taster of champagne.  Note to self: look frazzled more often.  He also gave G a sample of the sparkling apple cider to which G loudly replied "YUCK!" as I choked on my champagne.  However, G then proceeded to use his "outside voice" to talk about the "good wine" that he just had to drink as we walked home.  argh, thankfully the masses of people going to the Buddhist temple by our apartment didn't seem to hear him or fingers crossed, they didn't speak English.  Is there a Child Protection Agency in Japan?  Must check into this....

Christmas morning dawned bright and sunny and 55 degrees.  Hmmm, decidedly non Christmas like for this Wisconsin girl, but I'll take it!  We had shipped a few gifts over from London in our air shipment for G, so he spent all of 10 minutes opening his presents and he seemed most impressed with the remote control car and the pop up tunnel and tent from Grandma M.  At one point all you could hear was hissing from the tent as the Husband decided to torment the cat with the remote control car and had him cornered in the tent.  You see what I'm dealing with here.  A good time was had by all.  We knew that we were going to the Tokyo American Club for dinner that evening, but in the interim had a few hours to spare -what to do, what to do??

Go to Costco of you do.  Let me reiterate, Christmas isn't really acknowledged amongst the Japanese - people may get together for dinner but there is no religious aspect to it.  Not really so different than in many households in the US or UK.  But, all the shops and restaurants are open!  I had read that a Costco membership is almost required for a US citizen living in Japan if you want to avoid giving up your first born in order to purchase some goods from off we went and it was a madhouse!!  The equivalent of $250 and 2.5 hours later and we were home with economy sized goldfish crackers, Skippy Peanut Butter, M & M's, Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn and enough facial tissue and paper towels to last us through our 3 year stint here in Tokyo.  I'm addicted. Must.go.back.soon.

We were home just in time to shower and get ready to go to the Tokyo American Club for Christmas dinner.  Again, we weren't quite certain what to expect but we were seated at a table by ourselves (bonus) and the spread was very impressive.  There was turkey with mashed potatoes, sage stuffing, green beans almondine, prime rib, sprouts, mac and cheese and a salad bar with the usuals plus shrimp, octopus, scallops and a few items that I could not readily identify.  The champagne was limitless, there was a make your own sundae bar for the kids (and the Husband) and a very believable Santa made an appearance.  G did not lose his sh*t as he has done in the past when confronted by Mr. Claus and he even high fived Santa when presented with a cookie and candy cane.  I was content to sit and sip my champagne and people watch but when Satan's minion , all hyped up on sugar (see photo attached) decided to make a bee line into the industrial kitchen area and "help cook", we took it as our cue to leave.  A very Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Can't wait to see what New Years Eve brings....

1 comment:

  1. LOVE G's picture with the ice cream cone! I do hope NYE is as good as Christmas, do you have big plans?