I like the Japanese tradition of sending New Year greeting cards. It's basically the same idea as Christmas cards, only non-affiliated to any religion, and if you don't know what to say, there are a bunch of sweet set formula phrases to use. Congratulations on the New Year. Please regard me kindly this year as well as last.
Last year I took a bunch of cards home with me to mail out as New Year cards in the US. I did this without realizing that some of the cards you buy already have the Japanese postage built right in, to save you the trouble of affixing postcard stamps. This year, I decided I'd be smart and just attach 20yen additional stamps to them, because 70 yen is the cost of sending a postcard international.
I just got word that the built-in-stamp cards are special and might not go abroad. I assured the bearer of this news that I had put my return address on my cards and they were totally not returned.
But I don't think I put my return address on them, come to think of it. So if you are expecting a card and didn't get one, the JPost might have eaten it for a holiday supper. I apologize. Those of you to whom I am sending late cards, well, yours will be fine.
Update: I also managed to leave all my cardmaking material at school today even though it was the last day the building would be open until the 3rd. But by the 3rd I'll be in Penang, hopefully lying on a beach, and not back to Shiso until the 10th. At which point New Year cards are kind of moot.
I actually had my vice principal and Kam-kam collaborate to retrieve them for me.
So much fail. But so much kindness, too. I guess if I did everything right, I would have no call to feel this kind of gratitude that my boss and my fellow JET would go out of their ways like this for me.