Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas in Japan

I have been informed by my sister that I was supposed to make a Christmas post, so here goes. You'll have to wait a while for the pictures to be posted on Shutterfly though, we have a lot going on right now!

On Christmas Eve, we went to the children's Mass and then drove over to Derick and Lisa's house (there blog is listed under Los Gees on the right side of this page) and had lots of fun. Annelise was afraid of their dog Kona at first, it's been a while since we were at their house and Kona is a big dog, she's used to being around much smaller dogs. She got used to Kona by the end of the night, thank goodness. We had fun hanging out with our friends and meeting some of Lisa and Derick's friends, and the best part was playing Guitar Hero!! It was Derick's Christmas gift from Lisa and he got to open it early so we could all play. I don't know most of the songs on there, my childhood was filled with George Strait and this game is full of classic rock. I did sing along to Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again', though, no one else really knew that one. John had lots of fun playing the drums and Annelise was our groupie, she stood in the center of the room and danced her little heart out.

The next morning we got up bright and early to open gifts. Our parents went a little overboard on the gift-buying this year so we spread out Annelise's gifts throughout the day. Santa brought her a wagon, a chair, some clothes, books, and a couple of other small toys. Annelise also received lots of adorable clothes from our families, some really cool toys, and her favorite gifts, a spoon and some socks. Why did we bother buying toys for her?

John received a Kindle from me this year, he's starting his Master's soon and since we're overseas it will make things much easier to be able to just download most of the books instead of having to wait for them to arrive in the mail. In general, our mail service is great, but there are always exceptions and those exceptions are always the things you actually NEED instead of stuff you just WANT. He also got a few new shirts and some other stuff, but he was most excited about the Kindle and plugged it in right away. He received several Amazon gift cards and I think has already spent them all on Kindle books!

I got some amazing gifts this year, Annelise gave me a gift certificate for TWO massages, I really needed them! John bought me some sewing accesories, like a tote full of thread and supplies and a case for the machine that I bought with my birthday money. He also bought me a hand-blown vase that was made not far from here, it's something I'll treasure for a long time. I also love the gift I received from John's brother. He actually bought me a very nice gift, but the part I was most excited about was a bar of soap that he got from his room in the Plaza Hotel in NYC. We were chatting when he was there a few months ago and Danny went on and on about how great the soap smelled so I told him to swipe me a bar. It turns out that it is Bulgari soap, and you Janet Evanovich readers know why I'm so excited! One of the main characters in her books is the mysterious, very handsome, very sexy bounty hunter named Ranger and he uses Bulgari Green shower gel and now I have soap that smells like him! I think I'm going to put it in my dresser so all of my clothes smell extra yummy.

On Christmas Day we were able to talk to our families and Annelise showed off her toys for the grandparents on Skype, but she really was most excited about the spoon and socks. We went to lunch at the dining hall on base with several people from John's office. The base leadership serves lunch and the dining hall is open to everyone instead of just the people who live in the dorms and we had fun helping one of the airmen win a bunch of gift cards.

Later that day we went over to Yazmin and Dave's house for even more fun. I made a brisket and yummy rolls and we enjoyed taking time to just relax and hang out with friends. We even played Guitar Hero again and I'm learning the words to more songs. We also had not-good margaritas and then I had a yummy amaretto sour and a delicious mudslide. I think they realized that I'm a better singer when I've had a few drinks in me...

Overall, we had a wonderful Christmas. We missed our families and this was the first year that we didn't celebrate any part of the holiday with any of our families, but our friends helped fill in that gap. We had a 'slightly white' Christmas where there was a little snow on the ground but the streets were clear. So our first Christmas in Japan was a success and we're looking forward to next year!

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