As the freedom of exams approaches, so does the season of sexy white masks and Rilakkuma blankets. I personally am delighted that it is now December because that can only mean two very important annual events – Christmas, and heating in the staffroom! (I am very sorry if you are one of the people to whom that doesn’t apply, you have my condolences). The last weekend of November nearly killed me with having to choose between ice block hands or ice block feet.

My feet have had another treat this week due to a wonderful discovery – I suddenly have a kotatsu! I have in fact always (a year and a half) had a kotatsu but because I couldn’t find a way to plug it in, I thought it didn’t work. Imagine my delight when, while searching for a rogue sock, I found the cord in the back of my closet. I’m telling you, I am pretty blooming cosy as I write this!

In much more exciting news- it’s nearly Christmas! Yay! This means that tomorrow is my first day of Christmas lessons. Time to dig out my furry angel earrings and give the first years a party they will never forget. If you have never done this before, it may be wise to accept now that they will never find it as exciting as you do, but candy definitely helps. I’m going for Christmas jeopardy, bingo, Christmas song gap fill, and a sort of English challenge pass the bauble game. I am certain they will love it, but if they don’t, I am sure they will be too high on E numbers to care. Win.

Outside the classroom things will be getting pretty festive too. I really recommend the German market underneath the Umeda Sky Building (from now till Christmas). It has food, Christmas lights, carol-singers and real mulled wine. It’s the perfect thing to get you in the spirit of the season. Also, there is the Kobe Luminarie which is a memorial of the Hanshin earthquake in 1995, and a celebration of Kobe’s recovery. It looks like the best Christmas lights display you have ever seen (despite not actually having anything to do with Christmas). An AJET group is going on December 12th, so you should come along if you can. If you can’t come then you should try and get down there because it really is stunning, and the festival food is delicious!

Anyway, I hope you all survive the beginning of winter, and get your homes ready for the post-New Year kotatsu-fest (dig out your cords)! If you are travelling over the winter break, stay safe, and have wonderful holidays!