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  • Elisse Carma

Krampes' Christmas Dinner

The neighbors arrive with food and presents, dressed for Christmas celebrations

The Krampes asked me to document a very special evening in their home: Christmas dinner with their neighbors.

Futaba greets Clara with a big smile

These aren't just your average neighbors. They're more like family to the Krampes. I knew this would be a very special evening and a chance to capture their connection for years to come.

Erinn comforts Parker, who is jealous of the attention his sister is getting

And of course, any chance I get to capture real moments in a family's home, I jump on it.

Kanpai! Kicking off dinner with a cheers with champagne

The Krampes started their dinner with a Champagne toast.

Clara looks a little overwhelmed about all the cheers-ing!

Clara and Parker got their own servings of "kid champagne" (aka Martinelli's sparkling cider)...

Clara thinks Champagne is quite the shock, Futaba assists her

We all laughed and laughed when Clara tried her kid champagne and made this face! But the funniest part was that she quickly became obsessed and, despite the tingle that made her pucker and squint, kept begging Futaba for more cider!

Parker and Rinka eat their chicken very intensely

You'll probably find this odd, but a very common traditional "Christmas dinner" in Japan consists of... can you guess? No, you probably can't guess... it's KFC Chicken! Seriously. KFC Chicken. Hey, it does take the pressure off having to cook a great big Christmas meal!

Futaba laughs as her sister Mayu carries Clara around on the bouncy toy

After dinner the kids played with Mayu, Rinka, and Futaba. Parker and Clara ran around like little wild things and played hide and seek with their neighbors.

Rinka and Parker play, wrestle, and laugh with each other while the others eat dinner

These three women are so good to these kids. They get on the floor and wrestle with them, laugh hysterically with them, pick them up and twirl them around.

Parker and his sweet neighbor Mayu play and spin around

Parker and Clara are so loved here, and I hope these pictures will remind them of that when they remember life in Japan.

Parker gets lots of love and attention from his neighbors

The laughing went on and on! The kids were so happy to just play and be themselves.

Parker and Futaba laugh about the dinosaur toys

Clara tries on her new ballerina outfit and everyone wants her to pose

Present time! There were many presents to be opened. Clara's favorite seemed to be this beautiful ballerina costume and shoes. She was so excited, and everyone loved watching her go up on her tippy toes and twirl around.

Neighbors open gifts. Erinn found a very rare and special bottle of Sake for Tatsuaki.

Erinn found a very rare and special bottle of Sake for Tetsuaki. This is the same Sake that the Japanese Prime Minister Abe gave to President Obama when he visited Japan. Tetsuaki was really impressed that Erinn got a hold of this stuff--but I wasn't surprised! Nobody has skills like Erinn Krampe!

Parker laughs with his sister and neighbors as he finishes his Christmas cake

After gift time, everyone enjoyed some delicious Japanese Christmas cake. This stuff really is heavenly. Tons of delicious cream, strawberries, and perfectly fluffy white cake. Perfection. Everyone was happy about it.

Group hug as everyone says goodbye!

This evening was definitely a night to remember! I'm grateful I had the opportunity to capture it for them to always remember their family in Japan.

And here's the slideshow:

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