Sending New Year’s cards/ねんがじょう is much more popular than sending Christmas cards in Japan. It is the busiest time of year for Japanese post offices. Post offices guarantee Jan. 1st delivery if your New Year’s postcard is postmarked within a certain time frame (wow!). These special postcards can be made online or bought at stationary stores, and often has a picture of the corresponding year’s animal on it (2012 is the year of the dragon).
It is customary to write something like “あけましておめでとうございます(I hope for your favor again in the coming year)” or “ことしもおねがいします (Happiness to you on the dawn of a new year)” on the post cards. They used to be sent only to relatives, but nowadays are sent to friends and even co-workers.
I think it would be great hiragana practice for your children to write New Year’s Postcards/Nengajyou to some family or friends.
I’ve created a free printable postcard if you’d like to use it (just click and download and print on cardstock):
It’s kind of tricky to write up–>down if you’re used to writing from left–>right. Here’s an example of how you can write on your post card:
You can also print your own post cards here:
2) Another cute printable postcard from nangaj.com
3) And don’t forget the cute ones from KF Studio (see THIS blog post).