Christmas arrived not too long after we settled in our new home in Nijimura. My Mother had told us it would be a small Christmas, since we had arrived so recently. What I really wanted from Santa was my own room, my own dresser and my own comb and brush. We lived in a small home and with four kids, I wasn't given a room of my own. I didn't really expect to receive my own dresser but I had high hopes of receiving my own comb and brush. I must not have told my Mom what I wanted, because I didn't get my comb and brush.
I did receive a Cinderella wrist watch, some blocks that had a picture with the name in Japanese underneath and the Japanese writing of the name of the object on the opposite side of the block. I also received some other small toys, clothing and some fruit and candy.
Some of the Japanese families decorated their homes for Christmas by tying three bamboo sticks together with a large red ribbon. It actually looked very festive. They would stick the bamboo sticks in the ground of their front yards. The bamboo was supposed to bring good luck.
On Christmas eve, my brother Lee peered out of the window and watched a neighbor put together a bicycle for one of the neighbor kids. The next day when the kid claimed Santa had delivered a new bike, Lee came and told me the story and suddenly I knew the truth about Santa. Bob sat us down, and explained that Santa is a spirit and how it feels so wonderful to give. We learned the true spirit of Christmas that year.