This was a little Christmas card a friend sent to me from Japan. She represented an array of traditional winter/Christmas items and the (Anglicized) Japanese words for them. I was surprised that "candy cane" translated so easily into such a small word, and the origin of rizu is obviously linked to the Japanese pronunciation of wreath.
But more than that, I am charmed by the card by itself. The illustrations are sweet, the gesture of holiday tidings and connection is especially touching! This is a priceless item in my esteem, a simple card made by a friend for another friend. I feel bad that I couldn't do the same for her--write out all our English words for a traditional Japanese holiday we celebrate in the States, because we don't do anything like that.
Something like this is one of the rewards of having an international pen pal, and it's why I've been so excited to find new people to write to around the world. Once in a while someone does something nice like this for you, or you get to share something special with someone else. When I found out that England doesn't typically sell cinnamon or root beer-flavored candy, I boxed a bunch up and send them to a friend in West Yorkshire. I thought it would be uncommon and of interest. I know that's why I shop at World Market (or used to, before they folded), to access all that strange and exotic candy from around the world.