How I celebrated Christmas in Japan – Day 109

CHRISTMAS!! WOOOHOO!!

This year was the second time in my life that I spent Christmas not in London (the first time was in America with my family when we went to visit my uncle and his family). But this was the first time I spent Christmas without my family. It definitely felt different but it was so much fun, so I didn’t feel that homesick.

Let’s start off with what I did on Christmas eve, which I’ll describe briefly. I attended my only class that day and went last-minute present shopping in the afternoon.
The 24th December is actually my friend Jamie’s birthday so from about 11pm we all gathered in his dorm area for his birthday party. After midnight, it was officially Christmas day and that’s when we started with the first Christmassy activity – SECRET SANTA!!

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All the presents for Secret Santa!

A few weeks ago, Jamie suggested that we should do a Secret Santa present exchange within the dorm. About 20+ people took part in our building and we opened presents just after midnight on Christmas day. It was so intense as we cheered each other on as each person opened their gift – it was absolutely insane!

Happy people with their gifts

Happy people with their gifts

I received this lovely shampoo, conditioner and hair spray set! So happy!!

HAIR CARE SET!

HAIR CARE SET!

I then went to bed about 1.30am, which was pretty early in comparison to my other friends who went to bed at 6am… (CRAZY!!) I wanted to stay up a bit longer, but I had to go to my other part time job on Christmas Day, so I decided to get an earlyish night.

I haven’t mentioned this, but I have another part time job that I do on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Kunitachi, number 7 primary school

Kunitachi, number 7 primary school

About 2 months ago, a little Australian boy moved to Japan with his Japanese mother (I don’t know the reason why, but they did) and they are here in Japan for a total of 3 months. Since 3 months is pretty long, Matthew Robinson (the boy) has to attend school here in Japan. But he can hardly speak a word of Japanese.

Primary school, reception entrance

Primary school, reception entrance

That’s where I come in! I was asked if I was interested in working as an interpreter/translator for Matthew for about 2 hrs in the morning. I thought this was a good opportunity to experience what it’s like to be in a Japanese primary school, and since I don’t have classes at that time in the morning, I agreed to help out! I also get paid, so it’s all good! All I do is sit there next to him, translating what the teacher is saying etc.

Matthew in the bottom right corner

Matthew in the bottom right corner

Back to my Christmas Day story. So I got up again at about 7am and got ready to go to the primary school. Since it was the last day of term at this primary school, we just played games and sat through some end of year performances. After I finished, I went home to have some lunch. In Japan, people don’t really have turkey dinners, but instead they’re having chicken. Fried Chicken. Google it if you don’t believe me.

I wasn’t sure where the nearest KFC was, but I knew my local supermarkets had some grilled chicken on sale so I bought a chicken leg as a substitute. Lunch was pretty delicious – sweet potato, the chicken I bought, and my home grown spinach!

My 'roast' lunch

My ‘roast’ lunch

I mentioned that I had class on Christmas day, which is true, I did have class. But I ended up not going.

I feel kinda bad, but it was Christmas day! The reason why I decided to skip class was because I wanted to bake some Christmas biscuits. Here they are!

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That was one of the best afternoons ever. I haven’t really been baking since I arrived here, so spending the afternoon baking biscuits really made me so happy.

Baking while watching Japanese drama - that's the life!

Baking while watching Japanese drama – that’s the life!

However, I was a bit disappointed with the taste of the biscuits, but they were all gone today! I originally wanted to make gingerbread biscuits, but I couldn’t find ginger powder ANYWHERE! I went to several supermarkets- NOTHING! Disappointed.

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After the biscuit baking session, I skyped my parents and grandparents back in London. It was nice to see everyone and chat to them. Shortly afterwards, I had dinner with the girls in my dorm. It was a Nabe Christmas dinner! Wooo! Delicious!

NABE POT

NABE POT

We also did a present exchange amongst the 6 of us in this dorm.

Corey with her gift

Corey with her gift

I received some lovely gifts from Angie – Thank you!!

Thanks Angie!

Thanks Angie!

All in all, I had a fantastic Christmas here in Japan! It was weird not to be stuffing my face with turkey, and watching all the usual Christmas tv programmes back home. But I spent it with some lovely people here and I definitely had too much nabe – I slept very well since my tummy was so full! Yay!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too, if you celebrated it! New years is just round the corner, and I’ll be on holiday officially (FINALLY!) from tomorrow afternoon!!

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This entry was published on December 27, 2013 at 3:30 am. It’s filed under Japan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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