January 9, 2012

Wow.  Three months went by fast...again.

I hope you have been doing well.  I hope you had an awesome holiday season and an exciting but not tiring New Year!

Too much has happened in the last three month so today I will focus in on Christmas and my New Year's holiday....

I use to love watching a Charlie Brown Christmas or How the Grinch Stole Christmas on TV when I was a kid in the USA but this year in Japan guess what was on TV!

Although only about 1% of Japanese claim to be Christians, Christmas is none the less one of the most popular foreign holidaysin Japan with cakes and teeny tiny Christmas trees. 
(Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan.)  

Winter vacation usually starts from the 29th and goes on till about the 4th.  (It is a bit longer for students though.)

I took a pretty long holiday.
The 23rd to today!


Here's what else I ate during the New Year holiday:
in Nagasaki
"Osechi" is a boxed meal that is filled with dishes that are made to last for a few days so that housewives don't have to be constantly cooking...we are supposed to let the kitchen rest... but you know how things really doesn't end up that way!
The white bowls with the white round rice cakes on top are called "ozoni".  This is a soup that you put the rice cakes in.  Each region in Japan has their own flavors.  Osaka is miso based.  The city where my  mother is from (Fukuoka) has a clear fish/seaweed broth and in Nagasaki (where my husband is from) it is made with a seaweed and chicken broth and has lots of vegetables in it...which is actually quite unique in Japan.
I still have not mastered the Nagasaki style...

Rice cakes also show up as decorations with little mikan (like tangerines) on top.
The above are the decorations my mom had.
The flowers must include"sho-chiku-bai":
Pine-Bamboo-Plum blossoms (or Japanese apricot)
It is hard to see all three but they are there!

Speaking of New Year decorations, 2012 is the year of the dragon and this is my dragon at home!

This year I have made a motto:
Keep it simple.
and my NewYear's resolution is:

Combining the two means lots more de-cluttering this year!
I can't believe no matter how much 2stuff" I throw away there's still tons more.

Today I threw away old yellowed cards and envelopes and organized the ones that I have like so:
I had so many categories that I couldn't find the right cards when I needed them the most....I'd just keep buying and buying....
(the postcard with the girl in the kimono is something I bought in Kyoto but I do not know who painted it....)
If anybody out there would like to trade postcards please let me know!

Also, if you have any questions about my de-cluttering experience please leave a comment.  I will be posting more about my motto "keep it simple"soon!

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful January and a happy New Year!


Frances said...

Happy New Year back to you, Tulsa!

It's grand to hear from you and to read your New Year's post. I did not know about all those special "food related" new year's customs. I like the idea of not having to do much cooking for a designated period of time....

Your pictures are just fine, and that arrangement of flowers is lovely. I could pick out each type of plant.

Like you, I've been trying to accomplish some de-cluttering, and found many bits of old paper that no longer are taking up space in my apartment. Of course, this encourages me to bring in more bits of new paper.

The postcard picture is a good one, with that mix of traditional style and contemporary flair. I used to be more of a postcard collector than I am now...postcards used to cost much less! Still, trading postcards sounds like fun.

Best wishes to you. xo

Maggie May said...

Love the look of your food. Everything looks so dainty and well presented.
Love your card idea too. I do something similar but not as well organised or filed.
Good to see you back again.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

I_am_Tulsa said...

Frances, I think one of the key factors of de-cluttering is keeping things out! LOL, I am finally on a good vibe of not buying new things...I hope this lasts!

Maggie May, A lot of traditional Japanese food (as I am sure you already know) is all about presentation so thank you for noticing!

As for my postcards, I love to file things so it was a fun bit of organizing for me!

I wonder how we can go about trading postcards...or even just sending postcards instead of e-mail.
I wonder if anyone has done anything like this already with other things....?

Thank you so much for stopping by!!!!!

Emily Cross said...

Happy New Year, and glad to see you posting again (I only popped by the novel adventure blog so I thought you'd stopped blogging lol).

Is it true that in Japan, Christmas is seen as a couple's holiday? Someone told me this before, and I thought it was kind of funny, as a western Christmas is so focused on family.

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

It's always good to be organized, planning to achieve that this year~
I spent Christmas in Tokyo last year, interesting & FUN experience indeed, the KFC was very popular!

I_am_Tulsa said...

Emily< thank you for checking this blog! and yes, in Japan, Christmas is seen as more of a holiday of couples but I think it is actually changing a little with more focus on family and really good friends. But it is still kind of funny. It may also be interesting to know that although only about 1% of the Japanese are Christian, the majority of weddings are held in chapels or with a priest...

Lenore, You are traveling all over the world! Thank you for the pictures of the first class flights otherwise I've never seen that part of a plane before! LOL