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What do these 2 things have in common? They were both images on the Christmas cards my brother proudly brought us from Taiwan.

It was so wonderful to see him again, as it’s been 2 years since the last time he was able to come visit. And though he didn’t have too much extra room in his luggage to haul gifts with him, the offerings he did bring were fabulous.

He explained to us that in Taiwan, stationary stores are incredibly impressive and some of the most popular shopping destinations. Having been in one when I visited him many years ago, I can relate to the extreme temptation of collecting tiny creature shaped erasers and note paper with sumo pandas locked in mortal combat. The cards available for special occasions range from elaborately beautiful to truly bizarre. As Christams is not an essential holiday in Taiwan, they get to have a little more leeway with the seriousness of their related stationary.

Here is one of my favourites.

Despite the fact that wanting to pick up an axe and go mental is actually a common emotion around Christmas, I was really puzzled by the angry pig as a Christmas image. However it was all explained within the card.

In case you can’t tell, the axe was to cut open his piggy bank so he could afford to buy you a gift. There were many tears but the spirit of love and giving prevailed.

I think soon I will have to go visit my brother in Taiwan again. I’ll make sure to let him take me shopping when I do.