Having been a resident for almost 3 and a half years, I'm used to the oddly turned around, Valentines-version of Christmas, or rather Christmas Eve, in Japan. For those of who you are unaware of what Christmas is like here, Christmas Eve is a "couples night" for the Japanese, and so you're pretty much screwed if you don't have a partner to spend the night with. Mr. Billy Hammond explains it better here.
Last year, Christmas day fell on the weekend, however, it being a regular Tuesday this year, I went into work on Christmas day for the first time in my life. It was shocking for me deep down, but as the whole Christmas saga had died all around me, not that it was ever that lively to begin with, it didn't feel that strange, oddly enough.
In saying that, I did experience a few specks of Christmas here and there over the month.
First off, I had Christmas parties with the students of my English class that I teach once a month. The majority of my students are middle-aged housewives, bless them, and they all brought amazing home-made food. Aren't these snowmen bread the cutest?
Also, I always make time to squeeze in a visit to my favourite bar 'Melty' in Sapporo. Look at the adorable Santa ice-cream they presented to me as a little freebie ♥
On the 23rd, the weekend before Christmas, I visited my NZ friend's house for a girly Christmas evening. I can't cook, so I attempted a reef-shaped salad, and the other wonderful ladies spoilt me with their cooking skills.
Not only was my friend's cat there, but so were 2 other cats that she was taking care of while the owners went away, resulting in kitty heaven. That, and she did my nails all Christmas-y for me while we wore moisturising face-masks. Bliss.
Currently, it being the 1st of January as I pointed out at the beginning of this post, I am at my Obaachan's house in Tokyo, and Moo came up from England. Saving a post on my Japanese-style New Year's day for the next update which hopefully shouldn't be too far down the line, let me post pictures of a real Christmas cake (Britsh style, not Japanese cream and strawberries style) my mum bought me, as well as a Christmas gift full of goodies!
My cousin, uncle and obaachan tried a small piece each of the British Christmas cake, and it was amusing to note that there was no comment on the taste, finally my obaachan saying, "I'm not sure how to comment on this cake..."
For the fluffy, cream, sponge-cake-used-to-Japanese, a heavy, raisin-and-brandy-dipped, hard fruit cake was probably not their cup of tea. I, on the other hand, enjoyed it graciously with my cup of tea.
New year is over soon already. Happy New Year, everyone!