Saturday, December 25, 2010


This year is my 5th consecutive Christmas in Korea (my 6th including my first back in 2001) and, oh, how I wish I were in Canada! Christmas really isn’t much of an event here. Judging from the reactions of those who’ve visited our home recently, I’d venture to guess we’re the only people singing along to “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” (best Christmas song ever^^) with a 6ft tree and stockpile of gifts in our living room. Though designated as a national holiday, for most Koreans, Christmas is just a day to sleep in and meet friends or significant other for dinner and drinks (NB: Koreans love to drink).
On Christmas Eve, we ordered pizza and watched "The Santa Claus". Then, on Christmas morning, we Skyped my parents and opened the gifts they sent. 

Here's Bubba getting ready to open his first-ever Christmas present.

He got lots of new clothes, CDs, and toys.

My mother sent us hoards of food and toiletries that aren’t readily available here.
Clark also got a really nice purple tie and I scored the Annie DVD,  measuring cups & spoons which I really needed, pillow cases, hand towels, and these (I am, aren't I^^)... 

Throughout the day we nibbled on an assortment of goodies (prosciutto, brie, crackers, dried persimmons, nuts, chocolate, oranges, BBQ chicken). No Christmas cookies, pumpkin pie, or turkey for us. L Most Korean homes don’t have full-size ovens (not a requirement for Korean cooking); we have a convection oven equal in size to our microwave and reminiscent of the Easy Bake Oven from my childhood. So, preparing an old-fashioned Christmas dinner is near impossible and buying a pre-cooked turkey from Homeplus or Emart is just plain silly given the price. A weenie 4kg pre-cooked turkey costs 80,000 won (about CAD$75).

Like most Koreans, Clark’s parents don’t think much of Christmas (his father giggles every time he sees the tree) This year, his father came over on Christmas Day, but his mother decided she’d rather stay home. We buy them a gift every year, but this is the first year they've reciprocated. I don’t mean to say that they never buy us anything, they do; just not for Christmas. We’re always given cash for Seollal “Lunar New Year” and Chuseok “Thanksgiving” (NB: cash gifts are standard in Korea). So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that our first Christmas gift from them was, you guessed it, cash.
Next year, we hope to go to Canada for the holidays (and every year thereafter) because we want Logan to learn the Canadian traditions ~ family, turkey, egg nog, shortbread, fireplace, snow ~ and have a childhood full of happy and truly “Merry” Christmases.

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