Friday, December 15, 2006

New Year's Cards

New Year's day is culturally the most important day in Japan and there is this tradition to send out New Year's postcards to people connected to you thanking them for their goodness and kindness in the past year and wishing them a happy new year. This postcard doesn't have to be of a particular kind and the designs truly vary from ready-to-send printed ones to cards that are individually hand-drawn. Either way, many people prefer to use the cards issued by the post office (they're plain white cards so that you can design it freely) because there's some fun to them.

Each of the post office issued new year's cards have several digit numbers written down at the corner, and if you received those you have a chance of winning some great New Year's Prizes. The prizes for the drawing range from post stamps at the lowest (the last two digits, I think) to a trip to some hot spring resort or a foreign summer resort (all numbers need to match). I've never won anything more than post stamps (but they're special kinds limited in design) but every year, myself as well as everybody in my family anticipate and compete in how many New Year's postcards each receive and who wins what... or none. It's just a small new year's happiness.

Having explained about New Year's cards, though, I do think that the total number of cards being sent snail mail are decreasing due to the rapid increase of the use of cell phones. Ever since I got my first cell phone I've been receiving more New Year's messagaes through text mail so much more than those cards. It's a whole lot handier and saves LOTS of time, yes, but it's a bit sad not because I have less chances of winning something, but because it feels like the feelings of warmth and appreciation is being lost.

The post office issued postcards have gone on sale just today (forgot to say, this kind is sold only for a limited time) and it's about time we start sorting out the addresses and come up with some ideas for the designs.
Don't mean to say that e-stuff are iron cold, but some things I prefer the troublesome manual ways.

Today's update on Japan Mode: webmanga CharmyNurseM Chapter 6

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