A Holly Jolly Christmas

Christmas was fun! Isn't it always?!

I was feeling a little homesick as Christmas got closer, so I made some schwarzweiss geback (German black and white cookies) that my Mom usually makes during Christmastime.  I realized after I started making them that I didn't have a rolling pin but I was able to get the dough spread and rolled by hand. The design that I made ended up looking like little mustache cookies and doesn't Roderick look a little mischievous with a mustache. 

For Christmas Eve dinner I made a Christmas tree pizza.

After dinner, Roderick opened his new pajamas and we left some cookies and hot cocoa for Santa and then set out our stockings.

Here's our little felt tree with all the presents on Christmas morning.

Here's Roderick coming in on Christmas morning and then opening presents. We were all really excited and had a lot of fun!

It was a fun morning, we had a yummy breakfast with Cinnabon rolls and egg casserole and then relaxed and played for the day.  That evening we dressed up nice and went with some friends from the Mansfield program to the New Sanno Hotel for a Christmas dinner buffet.  It was delicious with all sorts of American foods and the added benefit that I didn't have to make it or clean up afterwards.

All in all it was our first Christmas as just the Salony family and we made some great memories.

Fun from November and December

Meiji Jingu is an area not too far from our apartment that has a beautiful street full of Ginkgo trees that turn bright yellow in the fall.  It's a popular area for locals to come and take pictures and enjoy the leaves. Roderick and I strolled over there one day and got some pictures.

Playing in the leaves with friends at Yoyogi Park.

After his bath Roderick always likes to be wrapped up like a "baby seal" and get snuggled before we put on his pajamas.

Celebrating Cam's birthday with a big pizzookie. Look at the anticipation on both of their faces!

Sometimes we joke that our apartment has 'events' just for our family and our friends that also live here.  Every other Saturday they put out treats and play a kids movie in the lobby and usually it's just our two families there. At the beginning of December they invited any who were interested to help decorate the Christmas tree in the lobby; again, we were the only two families that came to help.

Our apartment had a little Christmas party that we attended.

Meeting Santa at a Church party

Roderick loves saying hi to these seven dwarfs whenever we pass them...I'm not sure what they have to do with Christmas...but they're fun.

Someone got a NEW Lightening McQueen bed just a few days before Christmas. Roderick loves his new bed and it's great that he's been upgraded from sleeping on the floor on a Japanese futon (mat.)

 Modeling how comfortable it is...If only he went to sleep this easy, and with a smile on his face every night ;)

Lights and Sounds

We found a list of the best "Illumination" shows around Tokyo and tried to visit several during the month of December. The first that we went to was actually more Autumn leaves than Christmas lights, but it was unique. At Rikugien Gardens they light up the autumn leaves after dark. We went right as it was getting dark and it was wonderful to see the bright trees in the dark and the beautiful reflections over the water.

Probably the "craziest" one we went to was at the Tokyo Skytree. It was so busy and the traffic didn't flow very well so it felt crowded, but they had a neat projection show on the side of a building and up on the tower that was accompanied by music every 20 minutes.

Having fun with friends on the train ride home.

Our favorite was the light show at Tokyo Midtown. It was a repeating show with music and moving lights on the ground that you could walk next to. In this first picture you can also see the Tokyo Tower in the distance (the little red stick.)

Roppongi Dori and Tokyo Tower

The Shiodome Caretta Illumination was nice, but we had expected a projection show rather than plain lights, but it was still pretty. My favorite part was looking down at the lights from the walkway three floors up.

Roderick calls these his "wink eyes"