Merry Christmas from Japan

Currently, I am staring at two empty suitcases, listening to Christmas music, dancing in my apartment and drinking red wine. If I keep this up, I will have a hangover, but no personal belongings when I board the plane tomorrow. I assume that none of you want me to give you a hangover for Christmas, so perhaps, I will start packing and save some wine for 2012.

It seems like yesterday that tomorrow, December 22, seemed ages away. However, time flew by (clearly, I am getting old) and Christmas is four days from today. Although I am usually opposed to Christmas-anything prior to Thanksgiving, there is no Thanksgiving in Japan and therefore, I have been in the Christmas spirit since early November. The thought of being home with family and friends in a few hours (or 36) literally makes me giddy with excitement.

Even with all this excitement, I have a feeling I will miss all the students and teachers at my school. The thought of not saying ohayo gozaimasu 50 times every morning over the course of the next two weeks is oddly upsetting. I truly do love all the students, teachers and faculty members at my school. However, if I had any lingering doubts, after today, they are now nonexistent. This morning, I received a huge pile of Christmas cards from the ni-nensei students. Their English is impressive and their letters were so thoughtful. One student even expressed her love of Christmas by saying “if I were a witch, I would make every day Christmas.” If only we could find a way to combine Halloween and Christmas. I loved every card, but here are some of the more decorative gems.

So, merry Christmas from Japan! Soon, I will be stateside (with or without a suitcase). For those of you who will be in North Carolina, I can’t wait to see you!

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