In a way it’s our daughter’s first Christmas. Though we knew about Christmas in Japan, it had the feel of a foreign holiday, easily eclipsed by the far bigger event of New Year. It’s our first year with a real tree, proper trimmings, lights, accumulating presents, and most importantly the sense of community anticipation and collective participation.
I can tell that Emily is in the spirit by the fact that her presents seem strangely changed from day to day. As though someone has been examining them, rattling them around, and perhaps even peeking a bit here and there (the poor job of covering the evidence with tape is a giveaway).
It’s good to be back for this experience. Just in time for the end of childhood. A last chance to strip a foreign holiday of it’s foreignness. And to make memories to last throughout the year. And to set some precedent for a lifetime to come.