It was nice not having the stress of baking a turkey. I recall doing that one year and it took so much work... and our family doesn't even care for turkey!
We've decided that this Christmas, we'll be un-traditional again and have a 'Japanese style' Christmas. What is that you ask? To those who don't know, Christmas is popularly known as a couple's holiday in Japan. That means it's a big deal for people to hook up and have some gf/bf to spend Christmas with. Now, for all the sexy singles it's a nice time to spend a peaceful night with the family with some good ol' Christmas cake and KFC. Yes, KFC. They've earned quite a name for themselves in Japan and make big $$$ selling fried Chicken on Christmas. Our family won't necessarily buy from KFC but we were thinking of something along the lines of fried chicken where we won't have to cook much.
This whole situation just works for our family since most of our extended family resides in Hawaii, thousands of miles away and we're just not obligated like before. Basically, we can do whatever the hell we want with no strings attached. So un-traditional holiday it is!
Recently I've finally nabbed a new job~! *Does a happy dance* It's temporary but I really don't care because at least I won't have to work in retail as much. It's at an exhibit with insects and sea creatures and it's just a great, positive environment to be in. I still have my other job, but I can work there less because I have hours elsewhere. They also pay more, albeit just a little bit. But hey, it can make a big difference if the dollar amount changes. XD
There is also a new Korean market that opened fairly close by (note: I don't have to drive 45 min - an hour to get there). The one we used to go to was all the way in downtown and we didn't like going there much because of the drive. Now that we finally have one that's 20 minutes away, it's total bliss. I can finally get melona bars! Has anyone else tried these? They're so yummy! :9
The Korean market has a lot of other cool stuff like kimchi, banchan (side dishes), housewares, thinly sliced korean meat, and soon, they'll even have a food court! There's tons of Korean goodies in that store that we just can't get at a Vietnamese/Chinese market. It's great to have more variety. ^^
A pretty seat cushion I found... ”＾Ｗ＾”
What else.... I've started using this social site where people from around the world can talk about their interest in Japan. People from Japan can use the site to talk to other's around the world. In my experience of using it, it's a neat way to give and take. For example, I help people in Japan learn English while they teach me some Japanese. It's all through writing but it's helped me learn a lot about sentence structure and I feel like I understand a lot more than I used to. It's also cool because we can ask each other questions about the other's culture.
A recent example is a Japanese friend asking me about the 'American Christmas'. I write back to her in English but I also translate to Japanese so she can point out my errors and give me tips on what a more common phrase would be (she's much better at using English than I am at using Japanese). I tend to have to rely on Google Translate but still, I've learned how to phrase things so that they translate more smoothly. There's also the fact that there are many things with no direct translation.
I've had to explain to another Japanese friend I correspond with, the use of 'in' and 'at'. I've found that the Japanese language doesn't distinguish between those two words the same as it does in English. People will find interesting facts like that while talking with people from Japan.
I highly recommend people to try social sites with Japanese - English speakers. It's a great way to learn Japanese reading/writing and some basic conversational Japanese.