Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, we're still here...
Last year we treated our christmas as if it were our last in Okinawa because we were under the impression that we would be leaving by christmas of 2012.  We were wrong.  In fact, at this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if we were here for next christmas too!  

Update: We still don't know where or when we are moving.  Our rotation date from here is December 27th and we still don't have orders.  It looks like we won't know anything until February and probably will be extending our time here until the summer.  This was not voluntary.  It just happened to work that way because moving in the winter is proving to be very difficult.  It seems like we've been jumping through hoops for any kind of information.  We are still hoping for Virginia again, but San Diego is a close second choice!  

Christmas in Okinawa is very unlike what we're used to.  Back home, there is usually snow by now, and it's getting chilly out, which makes it feel like Christmas.  As much as I hated living in New England, it's this time of year I miss most.  There's just something about the fall/early winter in Connecticut that I will always miss.  Going to NYC at christmas time has always been one of my favorite things to do.  Not to mention the spirit of Christmas seems a bit stronger when you live somewhere cold!  We're still wearing tank tops here!  

We try our hardest to make it more of a holiday here.  Santa comes (though he's Japanese!) and we all decorate our homes with lights.  And of course, we get christmas trees.  Most people here get a fake tree, but we opt for the live tree.  It's not important to me, but Dima loves having a real tree because of the smell.  

Unfortunately, the trees came at a very difficult time this year.  Instead of a saturday morning, they came on a thursday afternoon.  Don't ask me why.  Most people work all day and can't go get one then.  Dima was on a course all week on a different base, so I was flying solo again this year.  Luckily, our neighbor Wendy was able to watch the boys, and my neighbor Tim was able to meet me there to get his tree too.  

We got there over an hour ahead of time to get a spot in line.  Only in Okinawa do you wait in a line to get a tree!  There were only 240 trees brought here this year from Oregon.  I'm glad I arrived early, because the pickings were absolutely terrible this year.  Not only were they all labeled wrong, but many of them were already dying, and there were very few large ones left.  Tim and I dug our way around and eventually found two decent looking ones.  

The line behind me.  I don't think some people at the end were able to get trees. 

They were cutting the stumps off of them for some folks

This little girl was so cute watching them cut her tree!

My tree.  In a shopping cart.  Not something you see every day!

Not too many left. 
While I was waiting for Tim to pay for his tree, I decided now was a great time to do a random act of kindness.  I had a little baggie with some candy canes in it in my purse.  So I snuck aside and stuck it into a tree with a note saying this was a random act of kindness.  I never saw anyone grab it, but by the time I left I noticed the tree I put it in was gone.  I hope someone was happy with their candy canes!  
If you've ever been to Japan before, you know that everything is much smaller here.  My house is only about 1200 square feet and my car is a very tiny toaster looking mini van.   So after grabbing two 7-8 foot christmas trees we were faced with a dilemma- how do we get them home?!  My car was filled with a stroller and two car seats.  Tim's car is even smaller then mine.  But we stood there trying to figure it out for a few minutes and finally decided we were going to attempt to fit them into Tim's car.  (They were making you sign waivers to tie them on your car and the line was crazy to do that!) I was amazed that they fit into his car.  I don't know how he was able to drive home!  We stuck our trees on our back porches until the evening so we could set them up! 
Gotta love it!

The trunks were right next to his head!

He must have looked crazy driving around like this!  I bet his car smells good now though!