I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas songs- Hark! the Herald Angels Sing and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day! I love decorating the Christmas tree and setting up the nativity scene. I love making Christmas cookies (I enjoy eating them too), and it is so fun to search for that gift that is just right for my husband.
So as we look ahead to moving to Japan, I have wondered what Christmas will look like there. So here is what I have found out:
-Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, so schools and businesses are usually open. Christmas eve is celebrated more than Christmas day, and is thought of as a romantic day, like Valentine’s day here in the U.S.
-A Christmas dinner would consist of a meal from KFC and a Christmas cake (a sponge cake decorated with strawberries, trees, flowers, and a santa claus). In order to get a meal from KFC for Christmas, you would need to make a reservation in advance.
-Within the family, parents give presents to the their children, but children do not give gifts to their parents. The reason behind this is that santa is the one who brings the gifts, and so when the children stop believing in santa, the presents are no longer given.
-There is a joke that compares Christmas to a woman’s age. Cake shops try to sell all their Christmas cakes before December 24th, and cakes left after Christmas are considered old. When a woman was 25 and unmarried, she was called an “unsold Christmas cake.” However, the average age of marriage is getting older and older and so this joke is not so popular anymore. 🙂
–メリークリスマス (Merry Christmas in Japanese!)
These are some interesting things, but one thing I noticed, and it makes my heart ache for these people. They are missing such a big part of Christmas: JESUS!!
They don’t know Him! They don’t know that He is the real reason for this season and the thing that makes this time of year so spectacular. I can’t wait to get to Japan and begin to share Jesus with them. I can’t wait to see their lives change and watch their excitement as they discover how special Christmas REALLY is!