Kentucky Fried Christmas, Plus Enter Day 5 of the 12 Days of Giveaways

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We have some rather odd holiday traditions here in America. If you are scratching your head, think of the jellied cranberry sauce served at some Thanksgiving celebrations, still in the shape of the can it came in.

When you travel you get to experience other holiday traditions, and Japan has an amusing one for Christmas. Families race to reserve dinner sets as early as October…for KFC. When I was in Japan I was surprised to see that it was such a popular tradition.

Back in 1974, Kentucky Fried Chicken had a campaign in Japan called “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii” (Kentucky for Christmas) that included chicken and wine, and a bucket of Christmas Chicken in Japan has been hugely popular ever since.

Even if you don’t have a ton of family around, Christmas dinners are also marketed as romantic occasions for lovers, and it seems that all of Japan has embraced KFC for their go-to Christmas dinner provider.

If you want a bucket of Christmas chicken on the big day and don’t reserve ahead of time you might find yourself waiting in lines up to two hours long. Wow. Besides, there are so many options to choose from. I don’t know if they have champagne any more but online the sets even show a white cake (maybe cheesecake?) or chocolate cake.



While the thought of eating KFC on Christmas doesn’t appeal to everyone, it certainly is a fun tradition. I am also slightly jealous of the fun Moomin character bowls that KFC in Japan has. The next time I am there I might even stop in and get a set. I don’t think they are just for Christmas so not part of the regular tradition but still fun.


Today is Day 5 of Magic of Miles 12 Days of Giveaways. For full contest details click here. I was glad to read that the majority of readers were interested in/able to eat homemade goodies (and some of the comments gave me a good chuckle and smile), so the winner of yesterday’s contest will receive a package of freshly baked treats to enjoy (or regift if preferred).

To enter today’s contest, leave a comment about an interesting holiday tradition that you have experienced when traveling or one that you have in your own family.

Today’s contest ends at 9pm PST December 17, 2016.

Good luck!

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  1. JP

    My family started celebrating Festivus a few years ago. We replaced the traditional Feats of Strength with a double elimination cribbage tournament.

  2. Jessica Justice

    I enjoy our tradition of pizza and wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve EVE 🙂 it isn’t really a tradition but we seem to do it every year lol.

  3. Marilyn B

    Not a Christmas tradition (we spend that one at home, but family has gone from 12 down to 5 now), but my husband and I often “run away from home” over Thanksgiving. Then we try to see what kind of an interesting dinner we can have on Thanksgiving Day itself. Lots’ of fun memories from those trips.

  4. Kalyani N

    We bake cookies together with family members and share with friends and family, we always have fun while baking and sharing! This may not be a tradition but we enjoy it!!

  5. Rich C

    Am i entered?

    • Melinda

      Rich C, it would be great if you shared a holiday tradition that you have, or one that you have seen when traveling. In case you had difficulty with the site accepting your comments though I’ll count your current comment as your entry in today’s contest. 🙂 Good luck!

  6. Swisspotluck

    We have one holiday tradition/rule that was created about 15 years ago. That tradition is that you are not allowed to purchase anything for yourself between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It really helps to focus on giving to others rather than oneself. It wasn’t for such a noble purpose that the tradition originated. That was more just a byproduct.

    The tradition started because one wife would thoughtfully pick out gifts for her husband, wrap them, and put them under the tree. Meanwhile the husband would go out on the one day a year he would shop and end up buying many of those same things himself because he ran across them and thought, “Hey, this is really neat and I would love to have it.” After the second year of him unknowingly purchasing for himself similar items to those already purchased and wrapped for him, the rule was created. And now that is our holiday tradition.

  7. Michael H.(oldfox)

    I worked as a teacher in South America years ago. One interesting tradition was at midnight on December 31. People ate 12 grapes for good luck in the new year.

  8. Rick

    Not quite a Christmas tradition, but for New Years, we used to play Monopoly before the New Year’s Eve countdown and continue well into the New Year.

  9. Michael M MA

    On XMAS Eve we would all rush outside no matter how cold, snow, rain etc it was to wave to Santa as he passed by waving back from the fire department truck. Heck going back to home town this year. Will be waving to Santa!

  10. Tiffany B

    Chinese take out for Christmas Eve. They are always open and it makes clean up easy for the big cooking event the next day!

  11. Stacy

    We take the kids to The Nutcracker every holiday. They enjoy picking out a nutcracker to bring along. We have collected quite a few this way 🙂

  12. r hirsch

    my family does a vegan meal. save the turkeys!

  13. Shelly J

    I am Australian and there the tradition is fresh seafood on Christmas Eve or Day

  14. Rich

    White Castle for Breakfast !!

  15. Melinda Lee

    My holiday tradition is that I buy a box of chocolates every year on Christmas eve. Mmmm chocolates!

  16. Jonathan K

    I used to do drink with my buddy every xmas after we do our family things.. We get stupid drunk

  17. Teddy Hermanto

    Haven’t really had a chance to experience Christmas abroad, am hoping to finally experience it this Christmas when I’m in Paris. As for my own, does sleeping early on Christmas eve and waking up late on Christmas day count as “tradition”? Christmas eve traffic is usually horrible for a night out and the only things showing on TV is either reruns of old Christmas classic or newer Christmas themed drama.

  18. Dwi S

    Another major holiday that is ripe with traditions for those of Chinese descent is the Chinese New Year. Similar to Christmas, family members from all over the place would gather, typically at the house of the grandparents or the eldest son. But unlike Christmas, the thing that was given as gifts were not toys, knitted sweaters, or socks, but little red pockets filled with money, and the recipients will be only be children and those who are unmarried. The grandparent, uncle, or aunt that give the most money will be the most popular, but woe be to he/she who gives the least amount of money.

  19. dot cahill

    we took our thanksgiving celebration to Provence last year and did our traditional turkey etc with some xxtras fro the BBQ bible guy steven raichlen

  20. Jennifer

    We spend Christmas Eve after dinner watching “The Christmas Story” movie. Puts us in a holiday mood each year no matter whose house we are at or if we are hosting.

  21. Gina

    My husband has traditionally made his family’s famous sticky buns for breakfast for Christmas and in addition, now we throw a huge Christmas party for our friends and neighbors and all we serve are desserts! We just had our 10th party and it has become a major tradition here. It is called “Friendship, Wine, and Extraordinary Desserts Party”, but the most popular desserts are my husband’s lemon bars and pecan pie bars! People try to come early to stake their bars!!

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