... and I have a bounenkai this evening.
忘年会 literally translates to "forget the year party". I think this is the first of many that I will be attending, not to mention all of the new year's parties that will take place in the new year. Christmas may technically be celebrated in Japan, but the true festive event is New Year's. Cards, good wishes, and parties all center around this time of year.
It's too bad I'll be in Malaysia for New Year's this year. I was looking forward to experiencing a Japanese New Year's.