It never snows on Okinawa, and a cold day here will be in the fifties, so it's hard to really get the sense that the holidays are upon us. People buy trees and decorate their houses - but the military wants those Christmas lights off by 10 p.m. It's just not the same experience that our friends and families are having back home.
But something nice has happened the last two days.
We only have two American radio stations on the island, and both are run by the Armed Forces Network. The FM station has a playlist of about a dozen pop songs that they play over and over - with an occasional country tune thrown in for the older crowd. The AM station is primarily talk, with shows ranging from NPR's Morning Edition to more odious offerings like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Alan Colmes. Hannity is usually on during lunch, and Limbaugh spews his stuff during the drive home. That is the only station that I can get in my car, so my radio is normally off during lunch and when I am headed home.
Starting yesterday, however, something wonderful has happened. Both Hannity and Limbaugh have been replaced by Christmas carols. It is such a terrific experience to be able to actually enjoy the trip home in the evenings. I find myself singing along, much to the amusement of the Japanese drivers in the neighboring lanes!
I wish the holidays would last forever!