Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas-time in Tokyo

Christina, Amanda, Christina, Carrie and I at the New Sanno 
Christmas was definitely different this year.  This was the first time in 26 years I wasn't able to spend it with my family.  Amy was spending it with Ahkmed in Kandahar, Afghanistan dodging his rockets.  Bryan and Michael were on a ski trip in Colorado with the parents.  And Catherine was back in Chicago.  We were all separated from each other, but luckily I was able to spend Christmas with the little family I've formed in Japan!  Many of you have asked if the Japanese celebrate Christmas, and the answer is, yes.  They LOVE American holidays.  Granted, they pick and choose a lot of our traditions and then add a little taste of their culture into the mix, but in the end, it's still Christmas.  Many even decorate with trees and lights.  And, the best part of it was, they've adapted many of our Christmas carols!
Some girls and I went to the New Sanno (military hotel) in Tokyo for a delicious Christmas lunch buffet complete with Santa and ice sculptures.  The food was catered to the traditional American Christmas menu.  Then we all went to Tokyo Disneyland!  Yay!  I don't care how old you are, everyone has fun at Disney!  Surprisingly Tokyo Disney is EXACTLY the same as Disney in the States.  Well, with the slight exception of millions of Asians running around and most of the signs written in both english and japanese.   The entire theme park was decked out in Christmas decorations!  It was nice because it brought a little taste of home to Japan with all the familiar Christmas carols playing all day.

I hope you all were able to enjoy a lovely Christmas with your family and friends.  And for those of you who were overseas, away from your loved ones, I hope you were able to enjoy yourself a little too!  Stay safe and keep up the good work!  Have a safe and healthy New Year.  Happy 2011!!