Today finds me printing out New Year's cards at my computer. This job should have been done weeks ago, right? Even given the fact that these are Japanese New Year's cards and not Christmas cards doesn't excuse my tardiness in getting these done. The Japanese post office has been telling us that if we want our cards delivered on January 1st, they must be in the mailbox by December 25th. So again I will be late this year. As I am most years.
The Japanese post office must be going crazy about now. Throughout the country everyone is dropping New Year's post cards into the mail boxes, 50 to 100 or more at a time. The post office people are sorting incoming cards by address and keeping them in piles until January 1st when they will all get delivered at the same time. And since the post office people are so busy they hire high school students to run around on bicycles and deliver regular mail during the month of December. This is one of the few "approved" part time jobs for high school students.
It used to be that all New Year's cards were hand written and hand drawn with a picture of the Japanese/Chinese horoscope figure on the card (2010, by the way, is the year of the tiger, the closet we come to cats. I don't know why there is a year of the dog but no year of the cat, humph!) And then the computer world stepped in and most people will print out their cards and labels and forgo personal greetings (and there is not much space on a post card for much news anyway).
From the time Takumi was born Tetsu and I opted to have a family picture that I would take to the camera shop for printing. I have all 24 cards up on our stairway wall! But in recent years as home printing rivaled professional printing, I've used my own printer for the job... So I'm saving money but maybe not time... Hopefully today Tetsu and I will hit Starbucks with our cards and address book (still hand addressing) and later drop some New Year's cards in the mailbox. More work for the post office people!