The beginning of December is a strange time to make a move. It's right after Thanksgiving but before the big Christmas push. Our house sitters kindly asked if they could have access to our christmas things and we did them one better by actually decorating before we left. Gabriel had a blast and since we weren't sure what decorating would look like in Japan we were glad we did it.
We decided that we wanted to pack our stockings and our most special Christmas ornaments and we knew that we had a little tree waiting for us left by some friends last year. The rest would be crafted or supplied by the 100yen store because we didn't want to spend much money.
Gabriel and I made a paper chain, some pom pom garland and decorated a washi tree in addition to the 2' Christmas tree and stockings. I also made a quick little tree skirt with a piece of fabric and some pom-pom ribbon from the Daiso (100yen / $1.00 store). It's minimal but it's ours.
I did find some sweet, totally Japanese, Christmas trinkets in my absolute favorite stationary store on Blue Street. I thought it would be fun to find something I'd actually put out year after year that reminded us of our Christmas in Japan and I succeeded. I find the polar bear to be a total crack up, don't you?
We also tried out what we hope to be a new tradition- building gingerbread houses! I bought a cookie cutter kit off Amazon and it seemed easy enough. Sadly, I didn't take into consideration that my oven in Japan would be about a quarter of the size of my standard American oven at home so baking the pieces to build three houses took roughly three hours. All in all it was a fun experience that I think will hold Gabriel's attention a tad longer each year. He of course loved eating all of the candy. I did eventually add a sliced apple to the mix as another edible option, it wasn't his favorite but it made me feel a little better as a mom.
The roof of my house kept slipping off but thankfully Chris reinforced it with some plastic spoons he cut. It was decided that Chris from here on out will be the gingerbread house assembler because he after all has a masters degree in structural engineer.