After a week of preparation, I was able to debut my first appearance for Hatsumode - the first visit to the shrine for New Year. New Year is a big celebration in Japan and almost everything is closed from January 1-3, temples and shrines being the exception. So, once I was dressed it was really the only place to go.
My friends had warned me that getting dressed (by myself) was only half the battle, actually arriving where you wanted to be still clothed was the other half. They warned that it is possible that if your kimono is not put on properly, that it will unravel with every step. Luckily, this didn't happen!