10. Japans Christmas Secret.

It’s a Christmas Clueless in Asia special! (Zig and Zag dancing in the backdrop… no, just me then)

Santa Claus, a man who checks his list twice as he probably has OCD, sounds like my kind of man. You can never be too careful, especially considering that he rides a sledge, powered by magical flying reindeer, and within one night, he delivers presents to every single home in the entire fu*king world (even those who don’t celebrate Christmas).

Santa, or more formally, Saint Nicholas, is a jolly, 1747-year-old, rotund man, whom I suspect is riddled with diabetes from mince pies, along with a great many crippling diseases that would accompany being an antediluvian old goat.

At the least, he deserves some care from the NHS, considering that he does bring us all joy in the form of a middle-aged drunk in a shopping mall, putting children on his knee and whispering secrets in their ears, promising them goodies so long as they’re not, “naughty” (wow, people actually pay for that).

Out of curiosity, why is it in the movies you see Santa flying above houses? Surely it would be more economical to jump from house to house, considering how close the houses are to one another, that’s bad energy conservation. Why does he not infringe on international laws of airspace? Personally, I think he sounds a tad reckless, but, he does have a likability to him, as no matter how much I deny him, he still gives me sh*t.

On the other hand, we have a personification of the sun, a man named Jebus (that’s not a typo), a man who died for our sins (I wasn’t even born, so don’t rope me into it!). This guy though, doesn’t sound like a good person, considering that if I don’t do what he says, he’ll get his dad on to me, and send me to hell for all eternity and burn forever, probably locked in a cage with people I don’t like; like Japanese landlords …’alpha males’… and Scrappy-Do.

All these threats shed light on why people follow the word of a book, a book that they need to follow in order to be good people (which they do so, so that they can go to heaven… seems a bit self-centred).

Hmm, Santa and Jesus sound as plausible as one another, but of course, only one is real!

(I know who I’ll be cleaning my chimney for… that’s not a euphemism)

Anyway, this post is about sharing with you the experiences of Christmas in China and Japan. Before I begin, let me remind you of how it is, we, in the United Kingdom celebrate Christmas.


In the United Kingdom, we gear ourselves up for a jolly ole gay time, as we manically flick through the Argos book, looking for ideas for our friends and family. In the background, Mariah Carey bellows out classics from her abyss-like lungs, as we put Christmas cards on a string, and hang shiny, skin irritating tinsel around the home, making our houses beautifully tacky and beautifully flammable.

As Christmas day comes, we wake from our sleepless nights and stay pyjamaed because we want to be ‘cozy’ and ‘homely’. Christmas day somehow excuses us from acceptable behaviour, as we start drinking in the morning, clinking our beer cans and wine glasses against one another. As the children recklessly rip open their gifts, casting aside the label whom it is from, we sit to the side, half pissed, slurping from cans, resenting the children, wishing that we were the ones getting the new spying Furbie.

We stuff our faces with selection boxes, party rings, turkey and cranberry sauce, whilst sat in a room with family members we don’t fu*king like, whom of which we only see once a year anyway. Not to mention, we sit pretty with stupid paper hats on, hats that make your hair go static, whilst we listen to the creepy uncle tell shitty cracker jokes, winking at you, insinuating an innuendo.

And it’s all okay, so long as we excuse ourselves with a slurred and effortless, “it’s Christmas!”

Speaking truthfully, I do like Christmas, yes, in fact, I quite like it a lot. It’s the only time of year I can be my true self, by not going outside, not washing, and drinking microwaved wine from a mug, all whilst listening to music that reminds me of my horrible childhood (they won’t take Wham’s! ‘Last Christmas’ from me!).

Moving swiftly on, let me share with you how things are done in China.

In China, for some reason, the apple is a signature for Christmas. This is because, “ping guo” which means, ‘apple’, is similar in it’s pronunciation to, “ping an” which means “safe and peace”. So, the word ‘apple’ sounds similar to ‘peace’ and apparently peace is Christmas, so, the apple, which sounds similar to another word, becomes the symbol of Christmas… so, yeah, that makes sense then.

I suppose that logic is like saying Speedos are the symbol for paedos because they sound similar too?

Some Chinese Christians (yeah, they exist) go to church, where they are met by Santa (hmm) and he gives them an apple, like some Victorian circus confusion of festivities and religion.

In China, Christmas is more of a ‘fashionable’ event, which just seems downright wrong and offensive for some reason. It is celebrated by young people, leaving the older generation, scratching their dry scalps confused by the whole western complex. On Christmas day, Chinese young people spend the day by going out shopping, and partying, as opposed to spending it indoors all day, locked in the warmth with family, that again, probably disgust you.

Christmas in China then is just a marketing event, which most probably came over from Hong Kong.

Lee, what about the Japanese, what do they do? Do they eat octopussy or something weird like that?”

Alright, calm down, that’s borderline offensive.

Okay, here it comes, in Japan, something strange happens, the Japanese… will eat out at KFC for Christmas dinner. I have asked a few Japanese people, “if you must eat chicken, why don’t you just buy it from the supermarket and bring it home”, and they all replied in the same manner as if I were an idiot:

“…because I can’t eat a whole chicken

…Of course, because supermarkets are only stocked with whole chicken corpses, what a stupid westerner I am.

What I find more strange, is, how we in the West don’t know about this sacrilege. KFC fully well know that this is not customary, yet they proceed with marketing this as if it were something we did too. It’s like having a friend that is into ‘lactation porn’, but they don’t want to tell you because they know you’ll criticize them, so instead, they keep it secret.

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I have had the experience of being included in a Japanese Christmas party, but it was with children, (it’s not weird). We spent the time playing strange animated music, sung by a singing synthesizer application as the children passed around bags of arbitrary gifts, probably unwanted sh*t that they were going to give to charity… no, I’m just kidding, charity isn’t big in Asia.

Albeit, it seems the Japanese have a slightly better grasp of what Christmas is about, more so than the Chinese do.

What is the meaning of Christmas, if not about celebrating Jesus’s birth on the 25th of December, the day Jesus was born, right? (Eh, no, he wasn’t born on the 25th of December) So, what’re we actually celebrating?

Can I really say that in Asia, Christmas is celebrated wrong? Can I really say that we, in the United Kingdom, celebrate Christmas right?

All I know is, buying one another gifts and spending time with your family never started no wars! Therefore, I for one encourage this continued tradition of disregarding religious beliefs, that in my mind, are as credible as the great fu*king juju up the mountain, Krampus, or Ra himself.

Merry fu*king Christmas!


(Clueless in Asia will continue from next year. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to ensure you receive an email for my next post. Thank you.

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4 thoughts on “10. Japans Christmas Secret.

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