New Year Spring Cleaning

Christmas in Japan is a strange affair indeed.

Shops, department stores and the mass media do their best (at least in the big smoke called Tokyo) to make folks spend a bit more right up to Xmas eve.

Then an interesting transformation occurs, seemingly overnight.

While Rudolph and friends were busy coming down chimneys and filling fireplace stockings elsewhere on December 24th, over here J-elves have stealthily replaced all the trees, lights, holly and false snow with traditional Japanese new year decorations šŸ™‚

And so the real festive preparations begin - with Christmas a pleasant but distracting side show to the main event!

Naturally enough, for a non-Christian country, 25th December’s a normal working day, although this yea’s calendar shows Monday 24th as a national holiday.

(Funny how I’ve lost touch with which days are holidays since stepping off the employee treadmill. My better half doesn’t let me forget though!)

It always cracks me up. While my family back in Belfast are stuffed with turkey and trying to take it easy, my Japanese relatives are in a busy dash to the wire for the last day of the year.

One of the cool customs is to do a big-time clean up around the house (and also in the office, if you happen to be a dedicated salaryman, as I once was, haha!) And I always get funny looks when I ask about spring cleaning in the middle of winter.

But I do my bit.

I’ll also make time to spend a few hours going through my plans and goals for 2008 - using the format mapped out in my goal creation course. And so can you, with help from the CD orderableĀ at

(Aug. 2014 Update: CD version no longer available. Videos are available to watch on YouTube. Visit the GCM site to also read the video transcripts.)

2008 may be the year of the mouse, but this rodent can roar!