With Christmas just ending and our winter vacation just beginning, I’ve been remembering my first Christmas in Japan before I was married. That first year, I didn’t really know what to expect. Many people seem to think of Christmas as being universally celebrated, but in fact it still feels somewhat new in Japan.
Unlike in Europe or most Western countries, Christmas is not really a “family” event so much as a popular couples-day for dinner dating and seeing illuminations. Some (but not all) families might give their children gifts.. but children probably receive fewer gifts compared to kids in countries where Christmas has already become highly commercialized. Companies in Japan are just starting to snag onto the marketing opportunities, which means that we can likely expect a much more materialistic Christmas in years to come.. Continue reading