I know that Christmas was four days ago, but I hope that you have time for one more heartwarming Christmas story. All my friends trapped on the East Coast are a captive audience, at least.
So I am now at liberty to say that six days before Christmas, and just one day after his mother and sister got here for a week-long visit, Rob had to ship off to deal with certain rogue states in the western Pacific. I felt terrible for Rob, but I was delighted to have the company. Rob’s mom and sister were very understanding of the vagaries of navy scheduling, and we had a nice time together doing some low-key exploring: Kamakura, Tokyo, and the food section of the local Lawson’s convenience store, where I am a rather expert guide by now to the myriad flavors of onigiri rice balls and Haagen-Dazs.
The family left the 23rd, and thanks to a Christmas miracle that kept the two Koreas from doing everything but actually firing on each other this time, look who walked in the door on Christmas Eve:
After that, it was your standard Christmas except that 1.) we missed everyone back home terribly and 2.) everything is open on Christmas in Japan! I almost had ramen just because I could, but it just didn’t feel right. Plus I had eaten a lot of Christmas candy. Chip was showered with toys by all of you who love him.
But most importantly this season, I learned the true meaning of Christmas as expressed in the immortal words of Mariah Carey:
“I don’t want a lot for Christmas
This is all I’m asking for
I just wanna see my baby
Standing right outside my door
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true,
Baby, all I want for Christmas is you.”