It is time, once again, to start making plans for the holiday party season. No, not Thanksgiving...the next one....Christmas. Because bonenkai ...or "end of the year--forget all the bad stuff from the past year" parties are extremely popular here in Japan, it is even more difficult to get a place than any other time of the year. Last year, for those of you who remember, I had a party to celebrate 5 years of teaching classes during this busy holiday time. My idea was to have the party as a "thank you" to my students who had stuck by and supported me for the last 5 years. It was in gratitude to them, that I went all out and planned such a party .....incredible food, lots of beer and wine, games and donated prizes from other students and a couple places in town, presents and finally door prizes for one lucky person at each table. As 67 of my students came and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, my thinking was that every 2 years or so, I might do this.
Fast forward almost one year...it may be only the middle of November, but, according to the bonenkai schedule makers, it is time to start planning. Already though, there have been inquiries as to the possibility of doing a party again. At first, I balked at the idea....it really took a lot of time and energy to get everything and everyone to fall into place.
Last week, students from 4 different classes asked about the bonenkai schedule with the idea of getting their own class bonenkai planned and on the calendar. I came home one night and started thinking....I have, on average, 15 classes a week...two of those classes are with kids...everyone else, are wanting the traditional end-of-the-year party. These parties are not small events....all are at least 2 hours with food and drink (lots and lots of drink). Thirteen classes means thirteen parties. Thirteen nights of staying out late...eating too much and drinking, probably, more than likely too much...thirteen times. And all of these parties would be held from Dec. 7 to the 20th (or so)...and NOT on Friday or Saturday nights (usually).
Are you beginning to understand where I am going with this??
After looking at my own personal schedule and thinking about it for, oh I don't know, maybe 5 seconds, I decided that I will, once again, be having a Christmas/End-of-the-Year bonenkai for my students.
The date: December 18.
I called and reserved a room at the same place as last year....a hotel that specializes in really nice wedding receptions and other big parties.
There will be a bingo game with prizes....there will be some singing...there will be wonderful food...everyone dressed up in nice clothes...and there might possibly even be some dancing.
But...for certain, there will be a crazed foreign woman throughout this whole process (until Dec. 18, at least) wondering why the hell she's doing this again and muttering "someone shoot me if I mention this again next year", running around making sure that everyone has the best time.
Seriously....someone thump me on the head (lightly please, I'm kind of a wuss!)....or remind me every so often that I'm doing this for some of the best people in the world that I know (other than my family and some very good friends)...for some people without whom my life would be much poorer (in terms of money AND emotional feelings).
Let the madness begin!!!