Monday, December 14, 2015

Can We Find A Little Bit of Christmas?

Do the Japanese like Christmas?  Yes, they do. Even though Japan is not a Christian country, they seem to like Christmas.  We have heard from multiple people that a big tradition on Christmas Day is to eat “Christmas Cake” and KFC, yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The day after they take down Halloween decorations, they start putting up Christmas Decorations.  We don’t mind seeing them go up early.  It is such a nice time of year.  Christmas brings out the kindness in people, people helping people, helping to make things, teach things, decorate things, leaving anonymous surprises, writing letters of appreciation.  So, it is fun to see the decorations go up.  It isn’t everywhere, but we see it here and there.  Some are big, and some are so small, if you blink, you might miss it. 

Somethings we don’t see are nativity decorations, about Christ’s birth.  We have internet access to some wonderful videos about the real meaning of Christmas.  Life has ups and down, but this time of year helps us to stop and count our blessings, such as wonderful family, and great friends, health, a safe place to live, safe water and food to eat.  We are thankful for each of you.

Our gift to you is a link to Christmas videos and more:

Here are a few of the fun decorations: 

The beautiful Christmas at our Kagoshima chapel.  The women are so talented to tie bows as they string the continuous ribbon around the tree.  We enjoy the white flowers mingled with the ornaments

This is in Kenmin Koryu Center,  Very interesting with only bows.

We caught the men setting up this big tree the first of November.  There were ladders, lots of smaller trees waiting to be placed around the train station mall. 

Lots of workers helping to place all the little trees around.

One of the first store windows to decorate.  Yay!

We don't have any electrical outlets by the front door, but we found these lights at one of the stores.  They are run by a battery pack.  Small LED lights, only 450 Yen ($4.50).

Our cute Christmas tree.  We added Daiso dollar poinsettias  last year. 

The red becomes dominant when we turn off the room lights.

The elders in Satsuma Sendai have a tradition of hanging these giant stockings.  We wonder how long these stockings have been in this apartment, and whose big feet did they come from?

The only decoration at the toll way rest stop.  The children really like it.

If you blink, you might miss this one.  They have a cute tree, and a light up wire reindeer.

This is at one of our missionary sister's apartment in the Kumamoto Zone.  A daycare is on the main floor.  They only have a few decorations, but they have the spirit.  The women who run this daycare are really nice, and always say hello to us. 

The shoten, is a covered shopping street.  Most of the stores have decorations.  It is a fun place to go, although we don't have time to go shopping very often. 

Here is the cute tree at the Rojin Home, Assisted Living Center, where we teach a free English once a month to the cutest group of grandmas and grandpas.  They really practice speaking English.  One woman is 101 years old.  We wish we had more time to spend with them.

 What a super delicious Christmas Cake.  This cakes serves four people.  Yum!  Too bad I am allergic to chocolate.  It's really ok, because my desert is yummy fruit.

One of the businesses put up a string or two of light, wouldn't you say?

This area had lights wrapped on two long rows of trees.  It was so pretty and intriguing.  It makes us want to walk along this street.

Dolphin Port is a tourist center by the water's edge.  Some of the blue shapes are dolphins.

Another side of Dolphin Port.

 The volcano has been very quiet the last few months.  We caught this little tuft of ash coming out of our wonderful Sakurajima.  If you look back in some of our past blogs, you will see a variety of sizes of ash coming out of the volcano.  We love Sakurajima. 

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