What’s the deal with Japan and “Christmas Chicken?”
By Grace Buchele Mineta
On December 18, 2014
I’m not sure what I was expecting my first Christmas in Tokyo, but having my husband hunt down the perfect “Christmas Chicken” and standing in line for three hours at KFC for said bucket of “Christmas Chicken” was not top on my list.
If you think about it, Japan is really good at taking foreign things and giving them a little twist. On Valentine’s Day, women give men chocolate. On Halloween, youth gather in Shibuya and walk around in costume. On Christmas, you eat chicken.
There was a particularly successful campaign back in 1974 that cemented KFC’s “Christmas Chicken” deal. Growing up, my husband always fantasized about spending a romantic Christmas with a lover and a platter of chicken.
The fact that I was American only increased his desire to have what he thought was an “iconic, American Christmas.” You can imagine his surprise when he learned that Americans don’t usually sit down with a bucket of KFC chicken on Christmas. He was just a little bit heartbroken.