Christmas in Japan is celebrated a liiitle differently in America. The whole concept of Santa Claus is prevalent, though much fewer people know more about Christmas itself beyond its Jesus’ birthday. What is a family-oriented holiday in the west becomes a more couple-centric one. Christmas Eve is seen as the ultimate couples night, and Christmas is a much smaller affair sometimes spent with family, but more often back at work.
KFC has also promoted its fried chicken as the food of choice, so along with a Christmas cake, is now what most Japanese think Americans eat. The kids were shocked when I told them we didn’t eat fried chicken… “McDonald’s then?” they asked. To them, home cooking is reserved for the big New Years dinner, and Christmas is that greasy treat they crave. As well they should; chicken is a bit more expensive here.
For us, fried chicken and Christmas cake were the way to go, especially since we’d splurged on the food for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Kenji’s parents were supposed to be coming for Christmas but couldn’t due to flight cancellations from the massive snowstorms that hit Seattle and that area. So we ordered a much smaller amount of fried chicken, then invited Ken and Keis over to help eat the Christmas cake we had ordered before learning they weren’t coming.
The spread: fried chicken and Kenji’s special mashed potatoes with gravy, salad, and a good champagne!
Kenji and I exchanged gifts… he got me socks! And my sock sheep wrapped in one! AWWWW! Jess Sock Sheep is now Kenji Car Penguin’s girlfriend. Yes, we are dorks, and we know it ;p He got a nice new bag for his snowboard and a few other things for the trouble!
We gave Ken and Keis their presents, then dug in… I don’t normally like cake much, but had I not been full from dinner I probably would have polished off the whole thing by myself!
So that was our Christmas, and despite not being home with family, a very good one! Kenji had to work Christmas day; I puttered around my apartment and cleaned and stuff. I like this fried chicken and Christmas cake tradition!