Christmas Eve is considered Christmas in Japan. Some people don't even know that Christmas is on the 25th, they think it's all over by midnight on the 24th! In Japan, it's a romantic date night.
Christmas is also Kanji's birthday. So we have developed our own little Christmas Eve celebration. Kanji's favorite meal is curry, sashimi and beer, so we make that for him, and also make a birthday cake. This year Amy and Lena decided on a heart-shaped pink cake decorated with marbles (which are Japanese smarties/pebbles/M&Ms). Only the red food colouring mixed with the yellow butter to make orange. I bought the cake too, so it wasn't the nicest cake ever, but it was good enough for a happy birthday song and a little party with beer and kid's champagne. Then we settled down to watch Polar Express, a magical little movie that has become an instant Christmas classic.
Finally, bedtime...making sure the stockings and sacks are well-placed, the cookies and chocolate milk are out on the balcony for Santa and his reindeer...and finally, in the wee small hours, Santa comes!