The week between Christmas and New Years is always a whirlwind of events as we prepare for Japanese New Year (oshōgatsu お正月), kids birthdays and other things. I didn’t get to this as soon as I would like, but I finally had time to post photos from Christmas.
We did not participate in a family gatherings due to COVID so we stayed at home, played Animal Crossing. For Xmas gifts, I got a compilation of Roger Zelazny stories which I was happy about. I surprised the family with Pringles sour cream and onion cans in their stockings (family joke).
Speaking of food, we also enjoyed Japanese-style Christmas food which includes Kentucky Fried Chicken (which, amazingly was open on the 25th):
The relationship between Japan, Christmas and KFC goes back to a clever marketing campaign some decades ago and has taken root since. Since in years past we celebrated with my family, we didn’t really do KFC so this year we got to finally do things “our way”. 😉
Since I haven’t actually eaten KFC in many years, I wasn’t sure what to order and got a big family pack. It was way more than we needed but it was super good. Those 11 herbs and spices are nothing to sneeze at.
Also, my teenage daughter has been taking up pastry cooking since COVID lockdown first started and made us a Christmas cake, complete with marshmallows:
Christmas cakes are another feature in Japanese culture that isn’t really found in the US. My theory is that it’s based on European, not American tradition, as Buche de Noel are popular there too. I don’t know about readers, but my family never had any kind of Christmas cake, so I was surprised when I saw how popular they were in Japan.
It was a pretty low-key Christmas, but it was nice to celebrate it according to my wife’s culture for a change, rather than always hanging out with the extended family.
P.S. in years past, after getting tired of eating Christmas food we’d usually find a Chinese or Indian restaurant that was open that night to satisfy our cravings. We have the same habit after Thanksgiving too.