Two years ago we bought a large artificial tree (well, large for Japanese standards since the trees here are usually only about a meter tall) and the kids "helped" set it up at the beginning of December. We spent a few days in December whipping off batches of cookies in our new oven. In previous years I had been baking cookies 6 at a time in our tiny microwave/oven combo and it took me forever to get any amount of cookies baked. It was wonderful to have 4x the baking capacity this year!
We also went to a few Christmas parties in the middle part of December which were kind of hectic but fun for the kids.
|William, who I think was intending on a peace sign, at the Fukuyama Foreign Association Christmas party|
|Rosie checking out the little tree at our church Christmas party|
|Opening a present from Santa at the church Christmas party|
|Checking out Bingo Honjo station from the wrong side of the tracks|
|William the conductor|
|Playing with electric trains|
|An exceedingly hairy looking Dustin and a rare Fukuyama snow.|
On Christmas Eve we brought the kids to the zoo only to find out that they were randomly closed for the day. There is an awesome playground next to the zoo so we just let the kids spend the afternoon running around there instead. Compared to some of the seriously sketchy playgrounds in our area this one is amazing.
|William on a classic rolly tube slide|
|And Rosie watching|
I am not sure if this will become a permanent family tradition for us, but for the last few years we have designated Christmas Eve as our Japanese Christmas dinner day and Christmas Day as the typical western holiday cuisine day. Last year we had nabe on Christmas Eve this year we went all out with fried chicken, pizza, and the best part of Christmas cake: strawberries.
The children then spent the rest of the evening decorating sugar cookies for Santa and writing a letter to go with them.
|Cookie decorating time|
|They got jealous of Santa's spread and needed their own glass of milk and cookies before going to bed|
Once the kids were asleep we finished up a bit of wrapping and pulled the presents from their hiding places to go under the tree.
|William showing off the book given to him by his kindergarten.|
|Theo helping Rosie open up her present.|
|William and his walkie talkie with ecstatic Theo in the background.|
This was just the beginning of our holidays and I will hopefully find the time to write about the rest of it soon. I also noticed that there were no pictures of Bosco or me from Christmastime, and since this post is so picture heavy already, here is a token selfie and a cute picture of our lavender pooch soaking in some winter sunshine.