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24 12, 6:40am
There's a bit of truth in both stories. As I understand it, it was the American troops who started having chicken for Christmas (as you say, turkey not being available); then in the 1970s, KFC saw a good money-making opportunity and started the advertising campaign to link chicken and Christmas. The present custom is not anything like our idea of Christmas, of course, but is more of a romantic event, something like our St. Valentine's Day, only with chicken instead of chocolate. (｀_´)ゞ Yeah, those funny Japanese!
And I believe the second part of Japanese Christmas is usually what they call "kurisumasu keiki", or Christmas cake, that is, a white cake with strawberries and Christmas decorations. Here's an article on this subject by someone who seems to know what she's talking about (unlike Yours Truly, who doesn't know any Japanese people and only knows what he reads!).
Buche de Noel may be a more recent variation on that among the Japanese, and btw, that is the can't-do-without Christmas dessert in my family, so bully for them!