Azabu Gardens Journal

Christmas Party 2019

Plenty of festive spirit, a visit from Santa, and holiday tunes

By Miles Hawthorn


It was the season for celebration and holiday cheer at Azabu Gardens. The party was held early this season—on the last day of November—but really, it’s never early for Christmas.

Since this is my favorite time of the year, I was happy to see the staff glowing with holiday spirit and sporting delightful Santa and reindeer hats. And the tree in the Club Lounge was absolutely beautiful. It made me feel just like a kid waking up on Christmas morning again. Residents and guests who had gathered for the fun, music, and, of course, delicious food were also feeling the spirit too, and many were wearing their best Christmas sweaters.

I noticed a suspiciously empty—but prestigious looking—chair sitting next to the tree. Only one man could be so large and important as to fit in that chair, I thought, but my eyes were soon fixated on the amazing spread of food!


The caterers at Rigoletto truly outdid themselves. There was perfectly carved ham, ruchetta salad with freshly sliced persimmons, succulent baked chicken, and heavenly risotto. As more guests filled in, new dishes kept appearing on the table like magic. It goes to show how much thought and planning goes into the events at Azabu Gardens.

While I was savoring the decadently sweet tiramisu for dessert, an old familiar “HO HO HO” caught me by surprise. It was the man of the hour himself—Santa Claus. The pitter-patter of excited children rushing over to greet him brought a big smile to my face. He had a huge bag of presents with him for all the good little boys and girls. After handing all of his gifts out, old Saint Nick had just enough time left to pose for pictures with the families before traveling back to the North Pole.

A wonderful live Christmas performance by singer Melodina and guitarist Toshiya Nishimura brought the event to its close. Melodina wowed the guests with her charming personality and beautiful voice, singing a mix of classic songs and new favorites. She even took a few requests from the audience at the end of her set.

As guests began to saunter out—some having just one final go at the buffet table—I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. It had been quite a while since I had experienced a truly Western-style Christmas party, and I already found myself looking forward to next year’s event.