She liked it.
THAT is my best Christmas present this year.
Forget the piles of chocolate and biscuits and magnetic Scrabble tiles, cute cat cards, cat muffler, Marks and Spencers mince pies etc etc.
No - all I wanted for Christmas was a Nice Day Service Center with a Nice Hula Dance Class.
And I got it.
Okaasan came home just after 5 pm with a nice day center lady in a car and I helped her inside, helped her make tea, gave her a Japanese-style cake from a class party and carefully DIDN'T mention what she'd been doing all day.
I didn't want to go there as a topic at all, didn't want to get a reaction from her while she was tired, didn't want to ruin my Christmas Day. Just left it.
She seemed happy, but of course a bit tired from being out for hours.
So, for our Chrstmas Night dinner I had slaved round a department store food section for 20 minutes with my credit card - actually I HATE department stores, so it was kind of hard!- and bought crab legs and lots of little starter things in a pack, and combined that with rice and soup and mulled wine from some students.
Instant - great dinner.
Yujiro got home at 6.30 pm. We opened a few presents round our rubber plant and then woke Okaasan up and the three of us sat down to toast eachother with mulled wine: "Merry Christmas!"
Okaasan LOVES crab. It takes her right back to the night when she was a child and she stayed up late waiting for her truck driving father to come home with a fresh crab he'd bought at a port somewhere. It's a big, happy memory for her. Waiting for father to come home and being allowed to eat crab, which was unusual in those days before refrigerators and credit cards in department stores.
So, she was happy, we were happy - the crab was delicious. It was a giddy, jolly dinner. Dear Son cutting up crab claws for his mum, me quaffing mulled wine...cats hovering at the kitchen door.
Okaasan was giggly and merry.
"I love crab, can I have more? I'm hungry because I was doing hula dance today!"
"Oh yes, how was it, was it good?"
"Yes! It was fun! I enjoyed it, it's a nice place, not so crowded, the people are nice, I met that man who came here the other day - is he the manager or something?"
Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The warm, happy feeling that spread silently between Dear Son and Me. Oh joy! She liked it. Oh joy.
Happy Christmas everyone.
Onwards into Japanese New Year and Oyomesan tries out her newly acquired skills on traditional Japanese New Year foods. :-)
Watch this space.
Now? Think I might have a mince pie and stollen bread for breakfast. Healthy? no...