Always start on Christmas Eve, when we celebrate Kanji's birthday. This works out really well, actually, because Christmas in Japan is a romantic, couple's date night, so it feels special for us. Kanji came home early, and I made his favorite meal - curry rice and sashimi. I bought a bottle of champagne, and we toasted him, and drank champagne while eating a huge platter of mixed sashimi (another advantage of a holiday birthday is the special menus availalbe at the supermarket).
I gave him a bottle of Armani scent. He's never had any before, but I love the way he smells after a bath when he has shaved, and I can smell the shaving lotion, so I thought it would be nice to try it. He seemed really happy with it, and has worn it several times. The first time I knew, even though he had already left, as I could smell it lingering in the air. I do miss perfume, and people smelling lovely. Japanese people don't smell at all - and they prefer to use very lightly scented products, so you can't smell someone come into the room like you can sometimes in NZ.
The kids got him a book. Boy, did I have a hard time choosing that book! It's really hard to know what to get in another language. I have a general idea of what he likes, but I don't know exactly what he's read or not read. My only hint was when we went to a bookstore together in November, and he stood in front of one section for a long time, and when I came back to him, he said he wanted everything! So I went back there and chose one with interviews with several of his favorite TV comedians. I think he likes it - it ended up in pride of place on top of the toilet paper dispenser in the throne room.
We settled the kids down to watch Polar Express while we finished our dinner - but it was so good we ended up abandoning our curry and watching it with them! That one is definitely on the list, and I can see us watching it every Christmas Eve.
After it finished, we got Santa's cookies and milk and left them outside on the upper balcony, where I am sure Santa comes in..