Christmas decorations don't last long here in Japan but make way for traditional New Years decorations pretty soon after Christmas day. Yesterday I took down the Christmas tree and decorations and put in their place, Kagami-mochi which is an offering to the gods made of pounded rice and topped with a mandarine and hung on the door a festive decoration made of straw. O-Shogatsu (New Years) is a family time here and a time to go to a temple or shrine to pray for good health and happiness for the year ahead. We didn't go out last night but stayed at home with the girls and ate Toshikoshi soba (long buckwheat noodles eaten on New Years Eve) that represent a long life. Jazz and Dixie had their own doggy version and sucked up all those yummy noodles. After that they crashed on the sofa and shortly after we all crashed.
Happy New Year to all our friends.