‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!’ (KFC's Christmas in Japan!)

I love Christmas. A lot.

Basically, from the moment the Thanksgiving turkey is divided up into meat for hot browns and bones for stock, I'm all about twinkly lights and cheering on Dreamy Prime Minster Hugh Grant as he tells off the creepiest of American Presidents, Billy Bob Thornton. The entire month of December, I'm high on bourbon balls and tinsel. Today, I learned a factoid that takes my Christmas obsession to the next level.

Did y'all know that EATING KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN IS A CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN JAPAN?

Image via KFC Japan.

Let's say that again: EATING KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN IS A CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN JAPAN. Sorry to shout, but this makes me unbelievably happy.

It seems that, in 1974, Kentucky Fried Chicken's Japanese Operations (the chain is known simply as "Kentucky" in Japan) was struggling, one million yen in debt, when they unveiled a simple advertising strategy: ‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!’ ("Kentucky for Christmas!"). Now, forty years later, many Japanese people pre-order a catered KFC meal to celebrate the holiday.

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In a country where less that 1% of the population is Christian, and poultry dishes aren't all that common, Kentucky Fried Chicken has established a kitschy American Christmas tradition. I love the Kentucky connection to the Japanese holiday. I mean, my granny always made fried chicken for Christmas Eve; why not celebrate with the Colonel's famous version of the same dish?

Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii, y'all!