Last year we went to Germany, expecting a snow globe Christmas... no snow. Well not in Berlin. We did get to see some snow in Dresden.
This year we thought we'd do something really exotic and spend Christmas in Japan... a brief escape from the holiday madness. Guess what? Bing is everywhere. Bing was singing White Christmas in the airports in Holland and Berlin last year and there he was singing White Christmas in the shopping malls in Japan.
Probably our most exotic experience was when we attended a small private Chrismas concert given by the mother of one of Karen's and Jeff's students. She is an opera singer. We spoke no Japanese and the rest of the audience didn't seem to be speaking English, but they smiled and nodded in a friendly way.
Our hostess and two other opera singers sang familiar arias in the first half of the program. We knew we were heading into the Christmas part when they passed jingle bells out to the audience. Karen spent the intermission trying to sound out the characters on the program to figure out what was coming up. We assumed Jingle Bells was one of titles.
Not only was it on the program, it was a sing-along. You can see the words in the picture on the left. They started off the second half with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, in Japanese, sung by three Japanese opera singers. Now that's a treat! It's pretty hard not to laugh when you hear Rudolph sung in Japanese.
They closed the program with Silent Night, sung first in German, then in English, and finally in Japanese. It was better than a snow globe Christmas!
After thanking the singers for a lovely evening, we bundled back up for the cold walk to our train back to Kosoji... warm with the glow of the music and the exchange of friendly nods and smiles from our fellow concert-goers. Hmm, a little Christmas is nice.