December is bonenkai season in Japan and the corporate invitations will be rapidly filling the calendar. The important thing to remember about the bonenkai though is that it's not a Christmas party. The bonenkai is an important part of the ritual calendar and whether it is a short celebration of a full evening party, it's officially the last chance for anyone to complain about anything that happened during the year, literally translating as "forget the year party". Effectively it's a cleansing process so that the new year can start afresh and any ill will or trouble is consigned to history. Bonenkais really are an important part of the corporate year, enjoy.