Chloe attends an all Japanese pre-school. And while it’s incredible to watch her develop a second language and get to experience her Japanese culture, it often sends me out of my comfort zone. I could easily just do drop-off and pick-up and nothing more, but I’m determined to not be invisible and be the involved parent I want to be. I have been involved, but sometimes it’s not always in ways that I would expect, or prefer. I don’t know if it’s a Japanese custom, or just-at-this-school custom, but the school likes to have a group of parents from each class to “perform” for the kids at the holiday party. That’s how I found myself doing a synchronized dance about rice with a group of moms at the holiday party.
Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are well into December, I have dropped my Grinchy attitude and have full-on embraced the Christmas spirit. Well, at least I’ve been jamming the Christmas tunes. In my last Scroogy post, I confessed my weirdo-ness and love for Christmas music. And in the spirit of Christmas I thought I’d share my top 10 favorite albums (in no particular order) that you’ve maybe never heard of. I cherish the Charlie Brown Christmas, and love Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey and all the other favorites you’re familiar with, but they won’t be on this list. There are tons of weird and ridiculous albums out there, but these are a few unique ones that I genuinely enjoy and are part of our family holiday soundtrack.
The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season. At least that’s how it was in our house growing up. That’s when my brother and I would help my parents put up the Christmas lights on the house. There was an inside team and an outside team. The inside team were the light checkers, and the outside team were the light putter-uppers. While we did all of this we would graze on the Thanksgiving leftovers all-day long. And of course to set the mood, we would start jamming the Christmas tunes. Christmas music in November!? It’s so early, what’s wrong with you!?
This is my 8th visit to Japan. Each time I visit I’m much more comfortable, I question the food less, the customs less, and I go with the flow as much as possible. There is one place though that always remains a mystery to me; the Japanese hot springs, or onsen as they are called in Japan.