Over the summer I bought Thank You cards at the store.  My dad said, “Why did you buy those thank you cards? You can write your own. When I was a kid we used our best handwriting and wrote long letters.”
“Did you use nice paper?” I asked.
“We used regular paper,” he said.  “We had nothing. We bought nothing except gas and oil and some spices and yeast and sugar….Now you spend a dollar on a card that is already made.”
“Um….these cards cost more than a dollar!” I said.


Okay, well.  I bought our Christmas cards rather than making them at home using my best handwriting.  Sorry, Dad!

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I bought them at our church’s annual bazaar.  They are religious cards.  Japanese stores don’t sell religious Christmas cards. (Except maybe a few stores in Tokyo or Osaka…and even then, not common.)

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These cards are typical of what you’ll find for sale in a Japanese store.  This is in a department store.  A little on the tacky side for my taste.

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Ever since I moved to Japan twenty years ago, Christmas has been quite a big deal in Japan, although in a secular way.

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These are quite pretty.  They are from a stationery store, which tend to have quite nice things.

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Halloween is getting strong, Thanksgiving (being an American holiday, of course) is nonexistent and Easter is almost nonexistent.  Fourth of July (naturally) is also nonexistent.  I mean, honestly, I don’t expect Thanksgiving and Fourth of July to be celebrated in Japan–that would be weird.