Getting in the mood for 2015

Good morning everyone,

Today and tomorrow are looking nice with mostly sunny skies and highs above 10C, but rain is back in the forecast-this time for New Year's Eve...I hope not! I'm one of those people who always likes to go to the temple at midnight and ring in the new year. The first day of 2015 is looking like it's going to be a cold one-from Thursday to Saturday we won't the mercury climb above 6C and lows will be below freezing! Brrr! It's like Canada! Ha ha!

Guess what!? I bought my first ever New Year's Decoration.
shime kazari

I figured after over 10 years in Japan, it's about time I got one. Now that I've got one, I'm thinking I should get into the business of making those 'shime kazari'. You see, when we buy a Christmas wreath, we use it for years and years-until it starts to look a little worse for wear or we see one that we really, really must have-and even then, we don't get rid of the old one, we just move it to a less visible place, like the back door. But in Japan, we have to buy a new door wreath every year...that's a business that is guaranteed to make money, isn't it?

You create a tradition of buying things for a holiday and then make it part of the tradition to burn them at the same holiday the following year! It's a licence to print money!

Of course I know that isn't the real reason for the tradition, but it does mean that the makers are guaranteed to sell their stuff every year.

And I only bought the door hanging decoration...
new years set of stuff

...as you can see in the picture, there is the new year's wreath (like the one I bought), there are two bamboo and pine stands that you see at building and property entrances, there's a miniature figurine of this year's Chinese character (it'll be a sheep in 2015), and also a mochi mountain with a tangerine topping and it (it means the cost) starts to add up!

And don't even get me started on 'osechi', the traditional dishes for new year...I always think that I'll get one, so I pick up a catalogue or two and skim through them. Some of them are so gorgeous! And then I start looking at the prices...after a minute or two, when I recover from fainting, I put the catalogues away, and decide that I'll be making my own meal for the new year! Those sets can run you anywhere from $100 to over $1,000 for two people! And, they're sold out every year! Who can afford them? Someone in this country is making a whole lot more money than I am! I consider going out and spending $40 on a meal (including drinks) a treat! Ha ha!  $1,000!? Not in this lifetime! Ha ha!

Have a great day! And, if you're thinking of spending $1,000 on your dinner for the new year, just call me! I'll come to your house and roast a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and homemade apple pie for that kind of money!  

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