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Christmas in Korea

December 24, 2010

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Merry Christmas everyone! Last year we presented to you another Christmas in Korea video, in which you saw Simon going from class to class dressed up as Santa Clause, kicking in the door and yelling hohoho. This year, we want to show you a bit more about what Christmas in Korea is like.

There are a few things that are different here that you should be aware of if you plan on celebrating Christmas in Korea:

1) Family Night/Date Night: First thing’s first, Christmas is not that big of a deal here in Korea. It’s celebrated, sure, but not to the extent that we’re used to celebrating it in Canada. It’s not really a big family get together, with lots of presents and a dinner and Christmas carols and all that. It’s more of a romantic kind of holiday, like Valentine’s Day, almost. Or it’s celebrated as a party night instead. Supposedly GD&TOP are going out to different clubs in Hongdae to party on Christmas Eve instead of celebrating Christmas with their families. So yeah, the vibe’s a bit different.

2) Christmas Decorations in Korea: You’ll find them in some places, but not everywhere. Café Lua, for example, has some right by their front door. The vacuum shop next to it, though, doesn’t have any Christmas feel to it. In some parts of Seoul you’ll see big Christmas trees with loads of lights. In others, it’ll feel more like the end of January rather than Christmas time. It’s not easy finding decorations, either. Emart has one small section with a few Christmas lights and tiny fake trees. We don’t know where you can get a real tree, or if anyone actually has one. The HomePlus close to us doesn’t actually have a Christmas section at all.

3) Christmas Food in Korea: Good luck! Turkeys are available but you can pay through the nose to get one. Cranberry sauce isn’t easy to find either. You can make your own mashed potatoes, sure, but you’ll be hard pressed to find gravy as well. And Egg Nog? Forget about it! We make our own egg nog from scratch every Christmas, and none of our Korean friends seem to like it, unfortunately. Well, not unfortunately, because then that means that we can drink more of it ourselves. Great success!

On a bit more of a serious note, Christmas can be a little difficult for foreigners. We’re away from our families during one of the most family-oriented times of the year and don’t have the same comforts we’re used to. Ah! So we’re spending our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day here trying to do as much home cooking as possible, and thanks to Skype we can call our families and open presents together. Huzzah! Anyhow, to all of you, hope you have a Merry Christmas in Korea (or outside of Korea), from Simon, Martina, and Spudgy!

A big Merry Christmas goes out to, JB and Annie from [닉쑤] Enjoy Your Happy Life~*. They always translate our captions. Huzzah!

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