Christmas in Japan is not a national holiday though some of the commercial aspects, but none of the religious, have been imported and successfully packaged.
For example, Xmas trees, decorations and pretty lights adorn many shops and street fronts, but are uncommon within domestic dwellings.
Some children get Christmas presents on Xmas eve but Santa’s buck stops early because a magical transformation happens overnight. If you’re curious as to what that is, I wrote a post about spending Christmas in Japan two years ago.
This is a country and culture of matsuri (festivals; local, regional and national) and Christmas is therefore but one of many. And that’s fine.
So, with the Yuletide celebrations neatly wrapped up on Dec 24th, one of the customs I like most about the approach to Japanese New Year festivities is the clean up that occurs in the final days of December.
Rooms are tidied, porches and cars washed, the unwanted put in recycling bins and transparent plastic bags. A new beginning is clearly in the air.
I think this winter spring cleaning is excellent mental and physical preparation for the challenges and opportunities that await.
Because it’s frequently necessary to cast off the old before donning the new. There just isn’t room to physically and mentally store stuff that no longer serves us.
And it makes setting goals (or New Year’s Resolutions, if that’s your preference) a whole lot easier when mind and body are freed from clutter.
Success equals Goals and all else is Clutter.
Here’s my aging copy of Brian Tracy’s marvellous book, Maximum Achievement, sitting on top of a file of notes I made about it and his accompanying CD audio program, The Psychology of Achievement.
Alas, our tatami room is not 100% clutter free and so there are things not seen that my better half would kill me for if I included more in the photo.
But hey, that’s life. We do the best we can, with what we have, right where we are.
Tatami Goals? Yeah, I like it!
And here’s a look inside that blue folder. I spent many hours reading, listening to and typing up what I felt to be the best of Brian’s work from the book and the CDs.
If you have the opportunity to do an end-of-year clean up, I urge you to give it a go and leave a comment here about what you did.