Christmas is coming! Even though most Japanese are not Christians, they embrace the Christmas spirit – in its cleanest form: that of shopping! Christmas decorations are everywhere by now (even in the really traditional Japanese shops) and of course, in the big shopping arcades on Shijo and Teramachi dori, Christmas songs are played up and down. I even heard the obligatory “Last Christmas” last week already (thankfully only once so far, I hate that song).

So, I am doing my own Christmas and New Year preparations: Not that I’m buying any gifts for myself (although I’m considering a very small Christmas cake), but I have almost finished writing my Christmas cards already (I’m so proud). Yesterday I was out shopping for an oseibo, a year-end gift, for my accountant, and the nengajo New Year’s cards are ready and wait for me to pick up pen and Kanji dictionary…

Umeda Christmas MarketI’ve already made plans for the Christmas holidays – visiting a friend in Kobe for a Christmas cookout – and tomorrow, always the highlight of the Christmas season, I will go down to Osaka to visit the German Christmas Market underneath the Umeda Sky Building with some friends.

I don’t know what it is, but at the moment, I’m feeling very energised. Two weeks ago, all I wanted to do was sleep, but now it’s almost the opposite. Maybe the promise of an “end to all this” that will come at the end of this month is pushing me forward?