At this time of the year, it is good to think about what exactly the "holiday" is. It is Christmas -- the birthday of Jesus Christ -- and Hanukkah -- the Jewish festival of lights. They are both important times of the year to remember, say "thanks" and reflect.

TS came to Japan in 1985 as the foreign wife of a Japanese. After that time, it became possible (for a short time, she learned later) for foreign wives to enroll for regular pensions. All were given a number to keep for collecting a pension someday.

TS' husband still pays into this system for her, but in moving, she lost the number. Is there anyway to ask the relevant agency to give her the number again, she wonders.