1. First of all, you have to start with your apartment. Things like mini Christmas trees, lights, and various decorations can be bought from the 100 yen shop. So for about 1,000 yen you can start to get in the Christmas spirit right away.
2. The second thing you need is music. Yes, I’m talking about all those songs you might have forgotten about over the years. From traditional carols such as Joy to the World or Silent Night, to modern day Christmas favorites such as Jingle Bell Rock or All I Want For Christmas Is You, you definitely need some tunes. That’s why iTunes is such a wonderful thing. For as little under 1 US Dollar per song, you can create your own personalized collection of Christmas beats. Even if you don’t have an iPod, you can still download the tunes into your iTunes library and burn a CD.
3. Next you need alcohol and food. Eggnog and mulled wine from past Christmas events left your memory dull? Well, don’t forget to stock up this year at IKEA or COSTCO. IKEA carries mulled wine for, get this, only 500 yen in their food and beverage section. IKEA is located in Taisho and a free shuttle will get you there in no time at all. COSTCO carries turkey over the Christmas holidays, in addition to cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling so if those things are usually on your menu for Christmas, head on over. It costs 4,000 yen to get a COSTCO membership for one year so it’s best to take a friend to split the cost. If you want to take the easy way out, Hard Rock Café in Hommachi and Universal Citywalk Osaka offers a holiday special of turkey, mashed potatoes, and vegetables from November for a little under 2,000 yen. The portions are big as well, just like at home.
4. Next you need events. For this I recommend heading to the Sky Building in Umeda, where the annual German Christmas Festival is going on every day from now until the end of December. There is food galore here, from homemade powdered donuts to sauerkraut and sausages. They even have mulled wine and German beers. Enjoy all of this while surrounded by twinkling lights and a huge Christmas tree. You can also purchase handmade crafts and candies here so if you need a little Christmas gift for your Japanese coworkers, this is the place to go. There’s also the Kobe Luminarie coming up in December, if you are in the mood for magical Christmas lights.
5. Movies. Of course there are all the oldies, like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation which you can find on www.surfthechannel.com, but if you are in the mood for something new, head to TOHO cinemas, where you can watch Disney’s A Christmas Carol (with Jim Carrey). And don’t tell me those movies are just for kids.