Monday night was my one and only end of year party. Some people I work with and their partners all went out for an "All you can eat and drink meal" at a nice Italian restaurant.This year I only have one end of year party, DH had one for his work and came to mine as well. That is pretty good and not to hard on the pocket.
I remember when I used to work at a junior high school and I would have 3 or 4 different parties: The whole teaching staff, then one for just the teachers in my grade, then one for just the women teachers as we were fairly few and then there would usually be one for all the English teachers. Pretty hard out stuff and goodbye 20,000 yen. The whole teaching staff party would always be at an onsen which there were a lot of around my school and would involve a lot of expensive food and sitting on the floor. I look back now and can't believe I didn't like sashimi - how many pieces of raw tuna I gave up! That would never happen now, or at least if I wasn't in a "no sushi and sashimi" state.
This year, I was of course unable to partake of the alcoholic beverages at the "all you can drink" part of the party, which was a shame only in that I really didn't feel that I was getting my money's worth drinking what could only be described as watered down grapefruit juice. So I tried a Kirin Free. It's a alcohol free "beer" that is TOTALLY alcohol free, as in 0.00%. They are a bit pricey to buy at the supermarket, and not being a huge fan of beer anyway I hadn't bothered with it but since it was on the drink menu I tried it. Hmmm. If you were really desperate for a beer during your pregnancy you might have one and feel slightly satisfied. It was fizzy, it did have a beerish after taste. I could safely say I'm not missing out on anything much there and I'm glad I didn't shell out nearly 200 yen for one from the supermarket. Recently there have also been a couple of alcohol free "cocktails in a can"
(keep in mind that mixing one kind of spirit with a beverage is considered a cocktail in Japan) come out. One I have seen was a "Gin and Tonic taste", the other one is a cassis and orange (fruit juice is a whole 3%!) one. It boasted 0.0% alcohol and no calories = artificial sweetener. So I haven't tried that one either because of the sweetener. Luckily I don't miss drinking alcohol, but I do want a piece of sushi every now and then.
So before the end of the year it's time to get in one last trip to the supermarket before everything goes berserk on New Years Eve. New Year's Eve in Japan is quiet. It is often spent at home with family watching TV specials and eating and drinking good food. Some people brave the cold to be at the temple or shrine at midnight. So imagine the supermarket of Christmas Eve or the day before that - complete craziness and mayhem. Last night I made DH come with me to the supermarket to buy our food for the next 3 or 4 days so I won't have to get caught up in the craziness which I can hardly handle in my calmest of times and certainly not when I have an overload of hormones. If we desperately need anything, DH can go. The supermarket was very manageable, thankfully though it was lacking in variety since it had already been thoroughly picked over.
So what's left to get done before the end of the year?
New Year's Cards sent - check
New Year's Day feast organised - check.
Hard disc recorder space cleared to make room for all the TV specials - check
Cleaning finished...er not quite