Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Japan

Like so manythings here Christmas is one of those foreign things that got brought over here and they got so close but didn't quite get it right.  There is of course Christmas Cake and the Kentucky Fried Chicken Holiday pack (which needs to be reserved a month in advance by the way).  Statues of the Colonel out side each store all dressed up like Santa for the season ( every KFC here has a statue of the Colonel outside of it). Actually for some reason fried chicken, not just the Kentucky variety, seems to be a Christmas tradition here.  I still don't really get it :P
The last couple of years I went all out on my own Christmas dinner with roast beef, yorkshire pudding, and all that stuff.  Last year I even tried my skills at a red velvet cake, not perfect but it was good for a first try :)  Kiyo enjoyed the whole non Japanese traditional take on a Christmas dinner.  Last year was also our first family attempt at Christmas cookies.  I tried to let help Yosei help with every single bit of it, cutting and decorating.  In the end I think he ended up with half of the dough and sprinkles in his tummy :) 
This year I ended up doing cookies a little earlybecause we were invited to a party at one of Yosei's classmate's house and I volunteered to bring the Christmas cookies and brownies (just to give them something a little American :D )  To avoid last year's dough disaster I decided to cut and bake all the cookies on my own first and then let Yosei help with the decorating.  In all it took 3 hours to decorate somewhere around 70 cookies  (40 of which went to the party).  Surprisingly enough Yosei didnt start chowing down on the sprinkles until the very end when he started to get bored with the whole decorating aspect.
One thing did occur to me while I was baking the cutting out cookies,  I've got a really sad assortment of cookie cutters,  no candy canes, mistle toe, stars, snowmen.....  I did eventually find a star cutter and a holly leaf looking cutter,  but I think I need to do some cookie cutter shopping when I'm visiting home during New Years.
Now that Yosei is old enough to kind of understand the whole Christmas/Santa thing this'll be the first year I'm actually going all out and doing wrapped presents, cookies and milk, carrots for reindeer,  stockings filled with snacks and small toys.  Kiyo totally isn't getting this either since in Japan kids typically get one present from Santa and that's it you move on with your day.  It's not really a big family event.  We don't have much money now so I was only able to get two presents each and a bunch of little stuff for the stockings.  Though I do wonder  if, when he gets older,  Yosei would start telling the other kids how much more Santa likes him cuz he got way more stuff than they did, haha.
Anyhow my little train butt (yes I call him that) will be getting a new Plarail plastic batter operated train, the exact model of the train that runs on our local line (he's gonna be so excited about getting an 'orange Ome train') and a cool railroad crossing that the gates automatically close on  when the train rolls over it.
My baby K is going to be getting her very first baby doll, a doll called Mell-chan and Mell-chan's pet puppy.  Hope she likes it,  she's been really into throwing and kicking balls lately so I'm a little worried ^^;
Oh and the Christmas Party with Yosei's friends, by the way, turned out to be really awesome.  A  fun time for the kids to hang out and play and pig out and for the moms to hang out and relax and chat while all the kids did their thing :D 
Yosei decorating cookies 1 year ago in 2010
Yosei's 2010 cookie collection
Decorating cookies this year

Yosei's 2011 Cookie Collection

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