Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Fill our hearts with Christmas light"

Although yesterday was Christmas day, Tetsu went off to work and I cleaned house and then ran errands. I figured I wasn't going to see anybody at the drugstore and the grocery store, and the couple presents I meant to drop off were to be to good friends who wouldn't care what I looked like so off I went with little make-up, wearing one of Tetsu's old sweaters and a Japanese smock apron. I should know better! Right off I ran into a gaggle of my kindergarten students and their mothers who were making a stop after a party. The kids were very happy to see me though the mothers comment was that I looked just like any other Japanese housewife in the throws of last minute cleaning. Ran into another mother in the supermarket and she too smiled at my Japanese dress.

At Mrs. Furui's house I ended up treating myself to a couple of hours of her company and another patchwork friend came by with cake so that was my Christmas present to myself. Good patchwork talk with wonderful patchwork friends. Of course we spent the time contemplating about next year's kindergarten bazaar quilt and I came home with homework to do before our next gathering!

In the evening Tetsu and I had a very nice quiet Christmas celebration. I cooked a simple dinner (as always) and at the last minute decided to decorate my stew with carrot stars! I also insisted we eat by candle light with the TV off! (Have a mentioned my husband is a TV junkie.)

No major surprises for Christmas presents. Tetsu knew about the vest I'd been making him and dutifully wore it to work today. The hanten was a surprise I guess and he seemed quite pleased. I had thought it might be too big but actually it looks a little small on him. I forget that he is a fairly large Japanese man though compared to American men Tetsu sizes up smaller I suppose. When we were dating he was considered very tall and I could see him sticking out above the crowds but recently young people even in Japan are growing taller. As the years go by, the pounds and inches increase (on both of us!) and nowadays Tetsu is LARGE not only by height!

For me, Tetsu got me a nice down jacket because the one I've been wearing for years is hopelessly soiled. I will save the old one for my walks with Choco since she still jumps on me and I wrestle with her leash and sometimes end up chasing her through the forest. The new jacket will be used when I'm going off teaching or visiting etc.

Tetsu and I reminisced about how our Christmases have changed over the years, some years madly rushing the kids to Christmas programs and parties. We've never had a lot of family near us though and so our celebrations tend to be downplayed a bit. I suppose though that just reflecting on this year's blessings, being thankful for health, being committed to doing our best in whatever God has put before us and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that God will allow in the future is our small gift of love and trust to God.

"Light the Christmas Candle now,
Think of donkey, sheep and cow
Birthday candles for the King,
Let the alleluias ring!

Candle, candle burning bright,
Shining in the cold winter's night
Candle, candle burning bright,
Fill our hearts with Christmas light."


Christine Thresh said...

Tetsu is a handsome man. He looks very nice in his new hanten.

Carla said...

Thanks so much for sharing about your life in Japan. The hanten looks great! Our Christmases have changed over the years, too. We're not empty nesters quite yet (still have 1 of 4 kids at home) but it has calmed down!

Shelina said...

It sounds like a good Christmas. I really like the idea of the carrot stars. I think I can manage something like that to make a meal more festive. The haten looks great.

meggie said...

Tetsu looks great in his Hanten.

I have really enjoyed reading about your Christmas there.
Some friends have a daughter who is in Japan as an exchange student, & her host family wanted to make a Christmas celebration for her, so they made Pavlovas. They bought all the ingredients, & got a recipe off the Internet. She was really touched, & they gave her gifts too, so she wouldnt miss out on Christmas while she is there. She is 15, & she is loving her stay in Japan, & her host family are so nice to her. I dont think they are Christians, but she is not from a religious family, so she doesnt mind.

domesticshorthair said...

Nice work on the hanten!