I was once asked what we do in the West to ensure that all our Christmas cards arrive on time. I wasn’t quite sure what I was being asked. Arriving on time usually means arriving before Christmas Day and that’s not that difficult to do. But the person who asked the question was Japanese and they were referring to the fact that in Japan New Year’s cards are meant to arrive on New Year’s Day. To facilitate this the post office will have a special box for the cards and an army of postal staff who work on New Year’s Day. But we don’t expect Christmas cards to arrive on Christmas Day and we wouldn’t wish the task of rushing around to deliver them on anyone other than Santa.
I don’t even think that the cards need to arrive before Christmas. I received another card in the post today and it’s lovely having the part of the holiday that involves hearing from friends and family extended.