Rather than Christmas cards, the paper greeting that overwhelms the Japanese postal system this time of year is nengajo (new year’s postcards).
Many families make their own, adding photos of the previous year to show friends, relatives and colleagues the year’s most important (or at least, the most photogenic) events.
Joining the photos are usually some references to the new Chinese zodiac character (this year it’s the monkey), a traditional greeting, and maybe a few little flourishes of Japanese new year imagery.
I’ve never made one before, but thought I’d download an app and give it a try. So, from my family to yours, akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Kotoshi mo, yoroshiku onegaishimasu. 明けましておめでとうございます。今年もよろしくお願いします。
Happy new year!