How different Christmas is in Japan & America

The holiday season is approaching. Lately, I've been thinking about how different Christmas is in Japan and America.

Christmas is mostly a religious holiday in America. We celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Some things about Christmas in America might be surprising for a Japanese person to hear.

For example, eating turkey or ham is more common than chicken. When I heard about eating KFC chicken on Christmas in Japan, I was shocked!!

On Christmas, Americans put a decorated Christmas tree inside of their house. My mother has a collection of hundreds of Christmas ornaments, some made by me and my brother when we went to school, and we spend time as a family decorating the tree. Then an angel is put on the top.

In Japan, Christmas trees usually stay outside of the house and are sometimes part of illuminations. There is more of a romantic connotation to Christmas in Japan, making it more of a couples holiday. In America, it's a time for family to come together.

During Christmas Eve, I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. Me and my brother put cookies and milk underneath the chimney to lure Santa Claus to enter the house. The next day there are presents underneath the Christmas tree, left by Santa Claus (or so we thought).
santa into chimeney

If you live in a small community, sometimes groups will ring your doorbell and they will sing a Christmas carol to you, such as We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It's a nice surprise!

I hope that I could share some of the differences of Christmas in Japan and America, and about my Christmas experience growing up.

Read in Japanese(日本語) >>

by Adam (USA)

Talk to us in Japan on Skype!

Book now