Chiristmas in Japan is quite different from western countries.
Since our major religions are Buddhism and Shinto, originally, in old days, we didn't have traditions to celebrate Christmas. But since after the western cultures have started to be introduced in Japan, Christmas became more popular and people started to adopt it in their lives in their ways.
Christmas in Japan is more commercial event, so Dec. 25th is not a national holiday. The funny fact is that during the night of De. 25th, all the Christmas decorations in town is gone and the totally different decorations for the New Year will be set instead just like a magic.
The biggest Christmas tree in Hiroshima
When the Christmas season is coming, you will see a lot of Christmas decorations all over town, all over Japan. Here in Hiroshima, the huge display of Christmas lights called "Dreamination" is set up and lighten up this time of year and a lot of people gather not only from Japan but also from other countries to enjoy it.
Of course, people enjoy Christmas at home, too. When in December, many of us, especially
parents, get busy putting up the Christmas trees, researching their kids
what they want from Santa Clause, making reservations for
Christmas cakes and so on.. On Christmas eve, some people enjoy special meals with their families at home, some people go out to town and have dinner at nice restaurants, and some have parties. Since Christmas is not our original event, I don't think Japanese Christmas religiously makes any sense.
But just like in the western countries, Christmas is an exciting event mostly for Children. Many children believe in Santa Clause and they go to sleep on Dec. 24th wishing that he brings them presents while they are asleep. Usually in Japan, parents put Christmas presents besides their children sleeping and next morning, they will find the presents with excitement. I've heard that even Children give presents to parents for Christmas in western countries but in Japan, we usually don't :(
Anyway, my 8-year-old son, Yugo still believe in Santa Clause, of course and is now so excited about the Christmas day coming very soon! Whether whatever religion we believe in , St.Nicholas keeps bringing dreams to children all over the world, I guess.