In the age of the internet, sending cards printed on paper might be a fading tradition, but giving and receiving them is still a highlight of the Christmas season for many. Since 2014, Rakuten has been delivering original Christmas cards designed by employees to children in foster homes around Japan as part of the annual Rakuten Santa Project. The project aims to support children currently cared for in foster homes around Japan and, in 2016, Rakuten executives and employees are on track to visit over 500 foster homes to personally deliver cards and Christmas gifts to around 25,000 children in total.
The cards themselves were designed by Rakuten employees. Staff from around the world submitted designs, and the top four were selected through an online vote. Those designs were then printed and distributed to employees around the group, who wrote messages for the children on the cards before they were hand-delivered to the foster homes.
Below are 10 of our favorite card designs (the first four were those selected to be printed and distributed to children).
With 10 days left till Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to get your cards out to your loved ones, too, so why not use some of these as inspiration?
P.S. Rakuten Today staff were excited to make their first visit to the Runbini foster home in Ibaraki prefecture, which Runbini also featured on their own blog. There was particular interest from the children in the depictions of an Antipodean surfing Santa from an Australian on the team.