Merii Kurisumasu!

Merii Kurisumasu!

Merii Kurisumasu!

Merii Kurisumasu!

This year is the first time Sidra got presents for Christmas, and they were even properly wrapped and stacked under our mini Christmas tree! Of course all the presents are from me and my husband, as there are only the three of us in the family.

I bought small things like socks, slippers, and some Christmas cookies, and my husband bought Playstation game, Little Big Planet, and a red plastic wristwatch. He also made handmade gift cards to be used on Steam, an online game platform. Sidra’s card was worth $15, while my card is exclusively for Zuma game, because I’m obviously addicted to this this frog who shoots colorful marbles from its mouth.

To make it merrier, I bought another pair of socks and slippers for my husband, and a pair of leggings for myself. How sad is that, wrapping my own Christmas present? Har-har. As long as there are presents under the tree, it’s for the appearance’s sake, you know.

Fortunately, my husband had joined a Secret Santa game in an online community and his present arrived just in time for Christmas. And a day before Christmas, I got a real Christmas present! It was from carmenCitaB, one of my birthday giveaway winners! Thank you so much! Now we have more presents under the tree!

Sidra was very excited when he saw all the presents under the Christmas tree, since he usually only get presents on birthdays. I told him that he could open the presents on Christmas morning. Not opening presents immediately was a new thing for him, so it was a really hard thing to do! He kept tugging at the presents until I told him to leave them alone.

On Christmas morning, he woke up early and the first thing he said was “Yay purezento (presents)!” We took a picture in front of the Christmas tree with Sidra getting more impatient. Then he was allowed to tear up all the wrappings.

Presents! Happy

He was very excited with all his presents, even for the socks and slippers. He put on the wristwatch and slippers immediately and the whole day he kept saying “Thank you Mama for all the purezento, thank you Papa! Thank you for the game, thank you for the watch, I love the socks too! The slippers are so comfy!” In fact, this morning he woke my husband up with “Thank you for the purezento, Papa!” He’s still saying thank you until now, and I think it is so sweet that he seems so grateful with all the presents.

Handmade games gift card for Sidra

Handmade games gift card for Sidra

Handmade Zuma gift card untuk mama

Handmade Zuma gift card for me (untuk mama = for mama, Indonesian language)

I got a pair of luggage tags and crocheted Christmast ornament from carmenCitaB, and my husband got a pair of salt and pepper shakers from his Secret Santa. Our first Christmas presents!

A pair of salt Luggage tags and Christmas ornament

Papa My present

Christmas in Japan is not a national holiday, but it is very popular and celebrated mostly in commercial way with parties and presents. For most people, it has nothing to do with religion. You can see lots of Christmas images like trees, ornaments, presents, and Santa, but there are no sight of nativity scene in Christmas celebrations here. Since there are so many festivals and celebrations in Japan, Christmas is welcomed as just another reason to celebrate. It is the same way as how Halloween and Valentine’s day are adopted by the Japanese.

Our Christmas was such a nice experience and we’re sure going to do it again next year! I hope you all had a wonderful day too! Merii Kurisumasu! It’s how the Japanese say ‘Merry Christmas!’

Sunny day at the park

Yesterday was a national holiday here in Japan. We went to Kichijoji to take a walk in the Inokashira park and play with guinea pigs in the small zoo. Guinea pigs = kawaii! (*_*)  What a lovely day!

Kichijoji Inokashira park

In the swanboat!

In the swanboat!

Inokashira lake

Inokashira lake

Inokashira lake

Inokashira lake

Guinea pig

Guinea pig

Guinea pigs Kawaii *_*

Discovering Blogher

This is a compensated review by BlogHer.

I found Blogher several months ago when I did some research to find the best ad network for my blog. You can see now that there’s a Blogher ad on the sidebar with links to featured posts from other blogs. I often clicked the links out of curiosity, and then found out that they were indeed very interesting to read! And while reading the posts, I got to find several new blogs to be added in my RSS reader.

I guess those are the first things that attracted me to the Blogher community. It made me realize that Blogher is so much more than just an advertising network. I went ahead to explore the main site to find out more. What is Blogher anyway? It is a community and media company created in partnership with women in social media. There are great writing on almost any subject, and you can even be one of the writer (following the community guidelines) and connect with other people. It’s like an interactive newspaper for women.

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Christmas platypuses

Christmas platypusesSince moving to Tokyo, Sidra has been exposed to Christmas things and activities from friends and school, so it’s only natural that he wants to have Christmas too at home. Last year, I bought him a (very) small Christmas tree that he can decorate at home with those blinking lights and all. He was very happy about it. This year, my husband and I are planning to give him Christmas presents too because he has been asking for them.

Actually we don’ usually celebrate Christmas or any other days. The things celebrated in our home are only birthdays and anniversaries. With only three people at home, it means that there are less than five days in a year to celebrate. So I think it’s pretty nice to have more occasion other than birthdays to celebrate something. Maybe I’ll do the Halloween too next year.

Sidra and I are invited to a small Christmas party next week, and I made these platypuses for gifts exchange. I’ve used this pattern several times, it is so quick, easy, with adorable result. These platypuses are actually rice hand-warmers. I shrank the original pattern to 80% to make it the right size for hand warmers. The platypuses can also be used as wrist pad too! They were filled with rice and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, the idea is from Farah in her coment here. I’ve tried putting them in microwave for one minute and they smelled so good! Thank you, Farah!

Christmas platypusInitially I made the platypus with green knit, red furry fleece, and tiny pompom eyes. But I think it looks too Christmas-y (if there’s such word). It looks so… red and green. Sidra wanted it, so I gave it to him and made another two. They are made with linen scraps, striped linen for the body and plain linen for the bill and feet. The eyes are hand-embroidered in + shape, I don’t want to use plastic eyes because I don’t know if it’s okay to microwave them.

I love them! Sidra didn’t like the eyes, though. “It’s kawaii-so… (a pity),” he said. My husband said that they were just having dizzy heads. Ha-ha-ha. I hope whoever got them in the gift exchange will be happy!
Christmas platypuses

Christmas platypuses

Christmas platypuses

Pattern is from Funky Friends factory.

Birthday giveaway winners!

Thank you to the 105 wonderful people who have participated in my birthday giveaway! The giveaway has closed and now it’s time to announce the winners!

I used the Random Integer Generator from Random.org to pick 4 lucky numbers, and here they are!

Congratulations  to carmencitaBMeikeVanessaBarbara, and Laurwyn! I will send email to each winner for shipping details.

Thank you again to all who has participated and shared wonderful stories and opinion. I enjoyed reading all of them! So many interesting and lovely stories ^_^ (more…)

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