It’s almost Christmas! Fun fact: we know most of you are from either North America or Europe. We, being in Korea, are ahead of you in terms of time zones, so that means we get Christmas before you do. BURRNNN! Except for you, Australia and New Zealand. You guise…we’re side-eyeing you……

Anyhow, today we’re talking about the difference between Christmas in Korea and our experiences of Christmas in Canada. We’re really lacking the Christmas spirit, guise. It’s hitting us hard this year. We’re really missing our families, and snow, and gaudy Christmas decorations. I want to see ugly Christmas lights outside of houses put up by people who are like “Ah crap! I gotta put out the Christmas lights! How about I just wrap this line of lights into a ball and plug that in? Christmas light ball!” Sure, you might be like “that’s ugly! I hate seeing houses like that!” but we’d love to see it. Better some lights than no lights. We’re looking out of our window right now at night and, seriously, there are no Christmas lights out anywhere for us to see at all. None. Come on, someone in Seoul! Put out a lazy light ball! Maybe because we’re surrounded by apartments? I know there are houses in Seoul in ritzier areas. I don’t know if those houses have Christmas lights. THEY BETTER! If not, I’d like to offer my services to them. *Knock Knock* “Hi! I know I’m a scary foreigner that you’ve never seen before, but can I decorate your house for Christmas?” *Door slam to the face*

OH MAN! I miss shoveling snow! I was so good at it! I took pride in being a good snow shoveler, growing up. Another interesting fact: because it doesn’t snow a lot in Korea, it always seems like people are confused whenever a big snow storm hits. We had one a couple of weeks ago and it was glorious! But (and here’s the side note part) we didn’t see any snow ploughs. Seriously! Are there any snow ploughs in Korea? Anyone ever seen one before?

To try to get some Christmas cheer, we decorated our apartment up a bit. We got a Christmas tree: not a real one, of course. We only saw fake ones for sale. You know, I’d actually have NO idea where to get a real Christmas tree from in Seoul. I’m sure we could go out of the city to pick one up. Right? Any of you have a real tree at your place? I remember driving out with my parents when I was a kid to pick out a tree, and the smell of the evergreen needles and pine cones. Ah! I really miss that. Not that we could get a tree for our place, with a new kitten now. Dr. Meemersworth would meemer all over that tree.

Now that I’m reading over this post, I know it’s looking like we’re just whining instead of informing. We just want to say that there’s a lot of stuff that we miss about Christmas that we don’t have here in Korea. We’re trying to make our place as Christmasy as possible, but we miss the collective fever. And so, the bigger point is don’t take Christmas for granted! I remember feeling burnt out during Christmas time in Canada and thinking “oh God! Not this time of year again!” Now, I’d really like to experience it again.

We’ve planned for tomorrow to try to get some Christmas spirit back. We’re gonna play Die Hard in the background all day and then put up some more decorations. Drink a hot toddy or two. Christmas cookies we’re gonna bake and give to our guards. THEY BETTER APPRECIATE THEM!

Also, we did a video a while ago about what Christmas is like, just not in TL;DR format. It’s so old! From, like, two years ago! Wow! Check it out here:


  1. Hemahng Yeong

    What im wandering is what are the holidays that korea and north america share? What are sime different ones? I know we share christmas but uts a little different and i know about black and white day but what about halloween or their independence day?

  2. Hemahng Yeong

    What im wandering is what are the holidays that korea and north america share? What are sime different ones? I know we share christmas but uts a little different and i know about black and white day but what about halloween or their independence day?

  3. i agree,its the same here in ukraine,especially being a foreigner….no christmas spirit…

  4. kpopfan123

    I love reading your blog! :D


  5. Only just got to watch this video know. My mum and I went to South Korea in November last year…err, 2011…and we went to Lotte World and got a picture with Korean Santa:


  6. Question for next TLDR- I work in healthcare & believe Australia & Canada have similar health care systems (big ups for public health!) What is the system like in South Korea. Do they have GPs/local Doctors and/or how is the hospital system managed? Cheers…

  7. I am from Hawaii and was wondering if it’s common for koreans to look alike? Stereotype asian -_- ( I am asian ) but my classmate from korea looks like one of Simons students from Halloween candy.

  8. How is the New Year like in Korea? I mean usually Kpop Groups would post pictures in Hanbok and such but what is it really like i mean the feeling that is? Is there anything different compared to how it is celebrated in North America? When i used to live in the Philippines each house would have at least fireworks or everyone would make noise however in NJ where i currently live in fireworks aren’t allowed so my family just have a little dinner and such.

    • Sounds like people are obeying the rules there, but not where I’m from. New Year’s Day is a nightmare because I go to bed early, and then I would wake up two hours later to all my neighbors setting off fireworks at 1,2,3 A.M. I grew up in Illinois where fireworks were illegal but people just went to Indiana to get them, like seriously, if you go on one of the main freeways: every single billboard you see is for a fireworks business during major firework hollidays. It drove me nuts to see how many there were. I know I am so late, but happy hollidays everyone!

  9. Hi Simon and Martina! You’re videos are great! I’m curious about gender equality in Korea and what your experiences with it were. I’d love to know! :)

  10. Living in Daegu…no families celebrating, no christmas food, no christmas cartoons, no nativites…no good deeds being done, no salvation army…sigh** Just does not feel like Christmas. :( hahahahha Going home soon, though!

  11. Have you ever been invited to experience Chuseok with a Korean family and, if you have, what was it like?

  12. I wanted to know how you guys became interested in Korea, and why you guys decided to move there.


    Well, that and Home Alone. What is xmas without Home Alone?! Nothing.

    But HEEEEEYYYYYYY!!!! DIE HAAAAARDDD *i feel like joey, chandler and ross screaming at my computer*

  14. It’s sad to know that people do not know off the magic epicness of eggnog…. :’(

  15. the christmas spirit – this year I don’t feel it too.
    however, this lacking started with being mum myself.. it’s sad, isn’t it?
    I’ve tried to sing christmas carols, or to prepare cookies with my daughter but no… still no christmas spirit.
    I’m depressed :(

    this year I’m on time with everything… maybe this is it! :)
    I should be in a hurry and running late to really feel christmas as it is / should be :)

    kisses and merry christmas – from Poland!

    btw, do your drink borstch or eat dumplings with sauerkraut and mushrooms like we do?!

  16. Here in my country ( Barbados) Christmas is mostly a religious holiday but there is alot of other stuff to go along with it. Food is the main focus and instead of turkey or goose, we do Christmas Ham and make a traditional dish called Jug-Jug. We also make a spiced drink that is made from the Sorrel flower( non-alcoholic), and drink a Caribbean version of Eggnog called Ponche de Creme (definitely alcoholic). We also have our version of fruit cake called ‘Great Cake’ which is far superior to fruit cake simply for the fact that various types of alcohol ( from wine, to stouts to rum) are the main ingredients. :-p. Thus they are usually moist and melt in your mouth.

    Traditionally at Christmas along with the decorating with lights and trees ( usually fake but some people ship in real ones) we also clean the entire house, from windows to floors, even sometimes repainting the house. Another thing we do is put up new curtains. Some people are so traditional about it that they stay up all night Christmas Eve to change the curtains so that Christmas morning finds the house looking completely different. We then go the church early and celebrate Christmas morning at Queen’s Park in the city. This is like an annual fashion parade, with our Police band playing carols in a band stand and people strolling around the grounds dressed in their most outrageous and extravagant Christmas Clothes.

    For those not religious, Christmas Day is all about the family, and the food. Boxing Day is spent visiting friends, having picnics at the beaches and parks and generally eating.

    Right now I am trying to find my Christmas Spirit by baking. Wish me luck.

  17. In the Philippines, people go out-of-this-world, all-out crazy during Christmas. Despite not being one of the most well-off countries in the world, people still devote a lot of time, money, and energy into keeping the Christmas spirit alive. As soon as the -ber months arrive, TV stations start counting down until December 24th, malls start decorating, and kids would holler at houses singing Christmas carols. The Philippines is one very, very Christmas-y country. It’s probably the most Christmas-y country in all of Asia. Lol. :)

  18. For my Christmas in Korea I will be attempting to go to Seoraksan. This should work out well….right?

  19. I think it really is hardest on the American military personnell stationed here for a few reasons. This place is rather different than when deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan where as there you are constantly busy on mission and dont really have time to stop and miss the fact that you arent with family. It’s a completely different story here in Korea where during the holidays we are on half day schedules and extended weekends giving us nothing but time to think about the family you can’t see. I myself just hit my six month mark away from my wife and child (although the wife is comeing here to visit in Feb.). The military bases here really promote christmas and decorate and light up but as it is there to help you get in the christmas spirit it at the same time reminds you that you can’t be with family.

  20. Can you please explain the plot of some of your Favorite Korean dramas? Does Korea pass shows from other countries?

  21. I was born and raised in the USA and then I moved to New Zealand..Christmas time depresses me..Its summer here and Christmas isn’t huge huge huge here.Sure people put up trees and stuff, but its still missing that real christmas feeling.

  22. TO resident here; there’s no snow here, either, guys. ;o; So… I guess that’s one thing you wouldn’t be missing even if you came home. ;_;

  23. Christmas sex haha Simons such a boss!

  24. It’s Spudgy Claus!

    Do you think the date-thing could be related to the fact that young men have to serve in the army and Christmas time is usually a time when they go on “permission” (I’m unsure what the English expression for that is, but when you’re granted a day or more off the military base/camp to see your family and stuff) ?

    Do they have Yuletide Logs (French “Bûche de Noël”) in pastry shops in Korea? (I’m wondering because they mentioned that in the drama Cheongdamdong Alice last week)…

    Do they have versions of the classic carols in Korean playing or the same versions we hear in Canada?

  25. I completely understand. I’m living in Korea now and even though I’ve lived overseas before this is the first time I’ve missed Christmas with my family. I have a really big family and Christmas is by far the most important holiday for everyone. Even though there is a little bit of Christmasy stuff here I totally don’t feel like Christmas is coming. It’s just kind of meh…and depressing.
    My disappointment at their being no eggnog is pretty close to not being able to see my family. I wait for that stuff ALL YEAR. My favorite thing to do is sneaking cartons into movie theatres.

  26. For me, Christmas day is usually spent watching a movie trilogy or a marathon of some TV series. Still haven’t picked something for this year yet.

  27. I consider myself fairly leftist in my political leanings and I am headed to Korea to teach English. Considering South Korea’s relationship with its Communist counterpart, have you ever encountered any McCarthy-like attitudes in Korean culture and would I have to be careful what I say so as not to risk losing my job/friends by coming off as a North Korean sympathizer? For example if I happen to say something like “In Canada, there are people who seem to care more about what their favourite celebrity is wearing than who their prime minister is”.

  28. A nasty Korean here! eum ha ha! I really miss Christmas in North America.’ㅂ’ I had such a wonderful holiday experience. And I realized how they are different from Korea. Thanks to my host family and dear friends, they gave me opportunities to enjoy the holiday just as one of them. It was gracious.

    Agree about Korea’s odd Christmas. About 19% of the population in Korea are Christians and about 10% are Catholics. Probably they are the one who seeks real Christmas spirits for religious reason and there’s many charities going on too. However, Christmas is an imported holiday for rest of Koreans. For adult couples, it’s all about themselves, and for the family with children, it’s all about their children. For children it’s all about their presents. That’s what I think from my experience for most of non-religious people in Korea.

    I wanna add things about family holiday in Korea though, since Christmas is not totally our family related holiday. Here in Korea, family gathering happens in Chu-suk (celebrating harvest) and New years holiday on Feb. (Koreans bow in front of their ancestors’ framed photo, prepare meals for dead ancestors and wish them for the family’s luck) I don’t think I’ve watched EYK videos totally related to Korean holiday yet. If there’s a way to experience local’s tradition, it’d be cool. I’ve seen foreigners having a short-term home stay with Korean family. So I wonder the same opportunity that I had in North America could be offered in Korea as well.

    Merry Christmas to EYK! and Merry Christmas to all your families and friends ^___^

    • I get what you’re saying! I was just thinking of that, i mean christmas is usually an imported holiday in Asia! I think that mainly explains the difference in the christmas spirits, how its celebrated etc in Korea and North America

  29. I feel your pain about not having any Egg Nog for Christmas. When I lived over in Europe for a few years I thought I would die…until I found a actual recipe for it! It takes time to make (you have to cook it on a stove!) but it tastes just like the stuff from the store! (after you chill it…of course.)
    It really makes you think of the old days when everything wasn’t found in a store and people had to make this stuff from scratch!
    Either way, if you would like me to hook you up with the recipe let me know, I would be more than happy to share!

  30. this makes me kind of sad :( no Chirstmas spirit?? I live in Australia so we don’t have the snow, real Christmas trees and stuff like that but we still have a lot of decorations up in stores, everyone is rushing around trying to get ready, santa in stores and lights on houses. My little brother and sister love all the lights and every year we go take a family walk around to certain areas close to where we live where the people go all out :D I guess Christmas time here is when it starts to get seriously hot and humid and its MANGO SEASON yeahhh!! Also, I’m very religious so of course I would never think about Christmas without my family, it’s funny that its a date night in Korea.

  31. If it’ll make you guys feel better… there has been no snow whatsoever yet in Toronto. We haven’t even had our first snowfall of the year yet! It’s completely green outside… doesn’t quite have the same festive feel. I guess the warmer weather would be good for those that are out on the streets :( The malls have been quieter too, not as many people rushing through to finish their last minute shopping. Also, the sales for Boxing Day isn’t as hyped up as it use to be now that we have Black Friday sales here in Canada too.

    Either way, thank you for your video. It reminds me to enjoy whatever we do have here and that ultimately Christmas is about spending time with family and being thankful for all that we have.

    Happy holidays!

  32. i’m not religious, i’m not dating anyone…christmas in korea sounds perfect let me come over please ;AAAAAAAAAAA;

  33. I guess a good thing about that christmas, is its a lot less comericalised.

  34. It’s funny how you all talk about that there’s no egg nog and I’m like *raises her hand* “Umm.. what’s egg nog?” Anyways, it sound so good when S&M described it.. :S

  35. Martina, I always here you say “about” with a Canadian accent. Most often, much stronger than the one you just did in this video!

  36. In other news, I would pay someone to make a “Christmas Sex” parody. I’d send it to all my friends in Japan :p

  37. Yes Simon and Martina, that video and blog post did sound like a massive whiny rant :p

    *judging you*

    - but i still love you

    I’m religious, so for me Christmas is mainly just going to church and commemorating Jesus’ birth, but I have had a taste of many different Christmas traditions. From your description, Canada is up there with the countries that make the biggest deal out of it. Biggest celebration of the year even?

    Indonesia – It’s the biggest Muslim country in the world, so the biggest celebrations are Ramadhan and Idul Adha. Christmas is a public holiday!! Yay!! And that’s it. ………..okay there is some extra stuff, like sometimes my friends come over to eat snacks. We’d go to church, my parents would give me and my sister presents, and we’d turn on a Christmas cassette. Maybe it’s just because I was in a remote town which was 99% Muslim, but yea, it was just a holiday that the government had to give us because of religious tolerance (it’s in the middle of the school term so we only get one day off). In the cities there’s more decorations and music, but it’s a “Christian” holiday so non-Christians don’t really celebrate it. I remember a friend asking me if Christians worshiped trees. .___.

    Australia – Decorations start in September? Similar to your Canadian Christmas, with the extra twist of Kangaroo-pulled wagons (instead of sleighs with reindeer) and Santa sunbathing on a beach (seriously, I saw such a display at Hoyts). Carols and public Christmas events, Myers has awesome Christmas displays – lots of that so-called ‘cheer’. Then Christmas Eve/Day is about family and relatives, massive BBQ, lots of presents, and lots of drinking. Australia also has the extra tradition of Boxing Day (26 Dec) when all the shops have massive sales and we’re supposed to buy stuff for ourselves. Some shops have people lining up from the night before, for these boxing Day sales.

    Thailand – Similar to Indonesian cities in that the decorations and music is visible in big shopping centres for retail promotion purposes, but only the Christians really celebrate it. I think the public holidays go a bit longer than in Indonesia though. The churches generally have some projects like singing carols in the shopping centre or inviting people along to big Christmas church services. I don’t think the Buddhists celebrate it in any way – Chinese New Year is the big thing.

    US – Most of y’all are from there so no need to describe it right? I remember it being very similar to Australia. Big retail extravaganza. Santa Santa Santa everywhere (much more Santa than anywhere else I’ve been). Reindeers and snow and snowflakes and Christmas trees and snowmen and elves – who came up with all these? Lots of decorated houses everywhere, so intricate and using up so much electricity :p Presents, big present culture….and yes the main difference from Australia is obviously all the winter-associated Christmas symbols.

    Japan – Well, they don’t hold back with the decorations in public areas, as it is a pretty big culture even in the more rural areas. Lights on the streets and people even put wreaths on the door sometimes. But similarly to the Korean Christmas that you described, it’s mainly about the dating on Christmas Eve. There’s snow, and occasionally snowmen, but it’s not really associated with Christmas as much as New Year’s is (New Year is a much, much bigger celebration – the biggest, in fact). Hardly any Christians in Japan, and they just go to church. Not much family/friend stuff either.

    Hong Kong – Tsim Sha Tsui has pretty decorations!! veryone goes there to take pictures!! And there are many decorations on the streets and shopping centres, like in Japan. Didn’t see any on houses cos there are no houses oh snap E I don’t really remember doing anything else Christmassy. I went to church. That was it. .__. If there was a dating culture, I had no idea. I’m single :p

    I don’t remember spending Christmas anywhere else. If I did, it would’ve been somewhere in Asia and it probably involved church and little else.

    I suppose the US and Canada and Australia and perhaps Europe? Are all up there in the places where even non-religious people make a big deal out of Christmas. In most other countries I’ve been, it’s a fairly exclusive Christian holiday (or just celebration in places where it isn’t a holiday).

    Well, in short – for me, I find Aussie/US Christmasses to be waaay too hyped up. I actually go out of my way to avoid spending Christmas in those countries. I love buying presents for people I love, and meeting my family and relatives, but I prefer to do that on a one-on-one basis, at randome times during the year, like their birthday. I’m not attached nor attracted to any of the other Christmas stuff like trees and food and decorations or, yes, even egg nogg. Sorry.

    Now after pouring water over everyone’s festivities, I shall take my leave. ((((((((((((((( – . -)

    • Yeah I saw something on TV and it was a love hotel that was Christmas themed, I was dying laughing.

    • irritablevowel

      Don’t forget Latin America! I’d say Christmas is a pretty big deal in both North and South America, Europe, Russia and Australia. Well, at least in the majority of Europe, and at least with Russian immigrants, Christmas is big.

    • With my family in Australia we hate the commercialness (made that one up) of Christmas so we are only allowed to MAKE presents for everyone. And we only drink on Christmas Eve…it seems…wrong to be drunk on Christmas, even though we aren’t religious. The BBQ though, that is where it’s at, preferably at a beach or the pool, because it tends to be a ridiculously hot day, too. Lol

    • Your Boxing Day sounds like the American version of Black Friday. Crazy shopping, it’s the one day I refuse to go out because I’m terrified I will be knocked over and trampled on.

  38. Speaking of cats and Christmas trees, getting a fake tree doesn’t really help. I have a black cat who is 13 years old, and he’s managed to attack every Christmas tree we had, fake or not. His favourite Christmas activity, however, is biting off decorations at 4 a.m. to wake us up and feed him.:)

    With regards to differences in celebrating Christmas, back at home (in Ukraine) the biggest holiday is the New Year. Before Soviet times, Christmas was definitely the biggest holiday of the year, when the entire family would get together, and they seem to be trying to restore this tradition now that our country is independent again. Also, I only recently realized that Carol of the Bells is based on my favourite Ukrianian Christmas chant! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_of_the_Bells

    Will you guys have a Sylwester party too?

  39. It makes me sad that there isn’t very much Christmas cheer in Korea (even though I’m not Christian ahaha) and I’m feeling a little bit of the Christmas blues as well! Normally, when my family lived in the States, we would gather a huge group of jewish people and congregate at a favored local Chinese food/dim sum restaurant and I would have my best friends sleep over. It was great. However, we’re in HK now and so we don’t have that large group of friends so I’m feeling a little lonely as well since people are busy during this time of the year going on vacation. So I guess it’s not just Korea that isn’t feeling the Christmas family cheer? :)

  40. I miss eggnog sooo much! I left Canada to move to Korea on November 11th, and I was pretty much at Starbucks every day (sometimes twice, much to my shame) from the point they started selling eggnog lattes until the day I left. Man, this was the wrong video to watch for me. It makes me miss my Baba’s jam-jam cookies and the fact that I have no oven for baking *sigh*

  41. Can we get a pic or video of you giving Christmas biscuits to your guards? :)

  42. so basically……….if I go to Korea for Christmas imma be miserable?
    darn……….just when i was getting interested in a study abroad program too :(

  43. When ya’ll explained about the prom/Valentine’s Dayness of Christmas Eve, my first thought was ‘OHHHHH, NOW I get it!’ The ‘it’ being the first episode of My Lovely Samsoon. I have to watch it again now that the first scene will have a different impact (not just that she found her BF gettin’ jiggy with another woman, but on Christmas Eve as well’.

    Do I need to send ya’ll some Ninjabread Men cookies? ‘Cause, I totally will.

    • irritablevowel

      Oh yeah! At first I thought, “That’s really not nice to do that to your girlfriend on Christmas dude.” But now I realize that he was doing that to her on what is basically Valentine’s Day, which is just harsh!

  44. Christmas in Korean sounds like how my family (in Australia) celebrate Valentine’s day. We don’t really celebrate it, but we know it’s Valentine’s day ><

  45. I live in Melbourne (Australia) so Christmas time for me is in Summer so I have never had a white Christmas. Although that may change because Melbourne is known for having “4 seasons in one day”…. One Christmas was 40 degrees (Celsius) and another year it was bucketing down rain~

  46. Well, I would have been really miserable in Korea :D

  47. Tinotenda Chabudapasi

    There are a lot of places to buy eggnog in seoul though, its very very expensive The small bottle is like 8000 won and the Large bottle is 20000. Bought some for my korean friends and they loved it ^^

  48. Am I the only North American who doesn’t like eggnog? I think it’s nasty…

    *cue Simon’s trademark “Oh, you so NASTY!”*

    Seems odd that Korean Christmas is date-oriented. Very interesting…

  49. Khadeza Begum


  50. Hareem Siddiqi

    No Eggnog?! well at least you guys can make it.

  51. lol I’ve seen the snow plows that ALWAYS snow in the car I just dig out. I love Christmas…Eve, I love Christmas Eve because of the build up to Christmas. Have you ever thought of just going back home for Christmas? I’m hoping all you Nasties out there would understand that right?…right? My family keeps our tree up until Russian Christmas (cause my mom grew up in a Eastern Orthodox area when she was a kid) so we keep our tree up until January 7th. Last year it was almost February when we took it down.

  52. I don’t know if I’m wrong, but one time I think I ear about why chrstmas there (and around asia) is no so mmmhh how I can say mmmh why they don’t have so much Christmas sprit? and is because there are not many Christians. In fact searching I found that half of South Korea has no religious position… And if we see it from the point of view that Christmas is = Christian (for many people for other is commercial, etc), it is understandable why few people have the Christmas spirit… And btw when I read about your hot toddy I was amazed, I thought was the same toddy from my country (Venezuela), here toddy is a chocolate drink that you can have hot or cool ^^! here a pic http://papayamarket.com/image/cache/data/toddy_400gr-500×500.jpg

    • South Korea actually has a large Christian population.Most of my Korean friends have some level of Christianity. So while they do go to church and have that religious connection, Christmas is not something that has been doing for years and years like other countries, so I guess they don’t have that emotional connection to it and it’s it hasn’t been established as a tradition. It’s interesting though.

      • I was wondering about that. Korea is fairly well known for their large percentage of Christians, so I figured Christmas would be a big deal. But I suppose if it was based on religious relevance alone, Easter should would be a bigger celebration than Christmas. I find a lot of Christmas celebrations to be associated with Western traditions and hardly based on Christianity at all. Santa and Christmas trees, for example :p

      • irritablevowel

        I think it also has to do with whether or not the country’s foundation is based on Judeo-Christian values. Korea has Christians, but its foundation is based on Confucian values.

  53. Oh my~! The Charlie Brown Christmas song! You guise are so cute >< But i totally get that. I lived in Holland for 4 years and there christmas was not celebrated much at all. Only the last year or so, a couple of neighbors finally decided to put some christmas lights to decorate. Now that I'm back in Canada for university, I feel all excited again with the christmas music and the decorations and the shopping and Tim Hortons christmas decorated cups ^^

  54. kawaii_candie

    again! it’s almost the same as Japan! But i was happy to hear you talk about it.

    here 24th is also the ultimate date night, worse than valentine’s day! the one year that i stayed in Japan (i often go back to Canada at that time) and was single, i was soooo perfectly miserable and home sick around christmas! cuz it’s just like you said… no christmas spirit, and couples everywhere!!!! gah! oh and i had to work, which really sucked… since japan is not a christian country, it’s not a public holiday so we had school!! how fun…

    anyhow! i think it’s awesome you’re having a big party with your friends, and omg Martina, you made me so jealous talking about those cookies!! i want some!!!

    Merry Christmas, you guise! ^_-

  55. I had an eggnog milkshake last night. It was glorious. I would send you guise some, but I’m pretty sure it would be nasty by the time it got to Korea :P
    Merry Christmas!

  56. KATHyphenTUN

    Awe i bet you guise do miss it! I feel like my city has grown less active with the christmas spirit over the years (less lights on houses, nobody wants to exchange gifts, and less decorations in stores), which is very saddening to me. I can’t imagine how you feel! However, feel free to express as much spirit to us as you would like! :D I’m sure we wouldn’t mind.
    (By the way did you get you hair cut Simon? the design looks good!)

  57. Martina, please teach me how to make christmas cookies…My cookies suck ( for the past 3 years). Nobody wants my cookies anymore !!! ( not even my fiance). Cmon, show me your skills !!!

  58. Omg…i can’t imagine what my Christmas would be like if i am not in NYC

  59. Thank you! I’m in Korea this Christmas, and it’s awful, and I wasn’t sure why….I thought it was me, not getting into the Christmas spirit, because korea has just enough acknowledgement of Christmas to confuse a first timer, but now I know I’m not just being a Grinch….yayish…

  60. irritablevowel

    Die Hard is NOT the ultimate family holiday movie. The Godfather is. Ah yes, I remember it well. Going with my parents to see the Christmas lights, buying a special ornament for the tree. Coming home to hot cocoa, cookies, and carols and finally settling in as a family to watch The Godfather (I and II). True story.
    I like religious Christmas, with advent candles, midnight Mass and carols like O’ Holy Night. It’s so serene and beautiful.

  61. CHAŁWA ·_·
    I would like to see facial expression of that Korean Santa if Simon sat on his laps ;D

  62. Living in the future has its perks, doesn’t it? I get Christmas a whole hour before you guys in Australias. Hehehe. And NYE too. Poor North American Nasties

  63. christmas in korea? ORIGINAL!!!!! XD

  64. Great learning about Christmas in Korea, always enjoy your videos. Hey I have a killer sweet potato recipe if you want (no marshmallows but plenty of rum)

  65. Aww this made me sad. I’m studying abroad in Korea next year. Hopefully I’ll find some foreign friends to spend Christmas with

  66. who thinks they sould talk about new years in Korea?

  67. …If there’s no eggnog in Korea, does that mean that Korean Starbucks don’t offer an eggnog latte over the holiday season? *SHOCKHORROR*

  68. Thank you for doing this question…I have been wondering that myself. I read the statistics that 60% of South Koreans claim no religion at all, and I was questioning what Christmas would be like without the strong tie to the birth of Christ…it makes me sad. The only Christmases that I spent away from the US was in Lima Peru…MAJORLY Catholic, there are firework on Christmas Eve at midnight and they go on and on and on…it was awesome!

  69. what are some of your faviorate. Korean dramas and movies, and who are some of your faviorate actors

  70. Really you should have said the older Christmas video was so old Spudgy was still GREEN! :)

  71. pierrotinlove

    I live in the US, but for me christmas is more like in Korea I guess… I mean, we do have the decorated lights and the christmas spirit everywhere, but for the actual celebrating I do it with friends rather than family. I guess it’s because I’m not Christian and I don’t really have family here. And same with new years! So it’s basically parties with friends both times~

  72. oh gosh, when you guys started to sing the Charlie Brown Christmas song… so many giggles. (: thank you for sharing; it was really interesting to hear your experience with Christmas in Korea. Also, I don’t think Canadian Christmas is much different than American Christmas… we just have freedom… and you guys have maple scented $100 bills…

  73. We’ve got a real tree again (I think it’s a bit over 2 meters tall). When I was younger, my father used to take me and my siblings to a place that grew plants/trees (forgot the word). It was always a lot of fun. :) My grandfather also used to grow them.
    In the Netherlands you can get Christmas trees everywhere. Even the supermarket wich I work at, sells them.
    Happy holidays! :D If I can I will email you a Christmas cookie recipe.

  74. That’s kind of sad :( Christmas is the one time of the year that is really about family, yet they spend it on being with a boy/girlfriend who they probably see all the time? Korean youth culture seems to be obsessed with dating…

    • irritablevowel

      I think that’s just because in countries and continents with very large Christian affiliations (like the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, etc.) we associate Christmas as THE family holiday of the year. Korea has Christians, but Judeo-Christian values aren’t the foundation of the culture. Confucian values are. So Christmas doesn’t have that massive place in the calendar that it does in say, England. Other holidays serve as the big family holiday. So really, it’s only sad for the foreigners. I imagine Koreans abroad have that same melancholy when it’s New Year or Chuseok. I do think it’s funny that Christmas Eve is associated with a day for getting the nookie. That’s…very different from my Christmas Eve experiences.

  75. My family watches “Die Hard” every Christmas too!

  76. I just saw your video about Christmas in Korea! this year
    for some reasons I didn’t feel yet this Christmas spirit but now I
    feel, somehow, lucky to celebrate Christmas the way we celebrate it:
    reminding Jesus birth, spending time with family, playing those timeless
    boardgames and eating those traditional Christmas dishes! So let’s
    Christmas spirit come, wishing that you can feel it too!! Merry Christmas to you!!!

  77. Oh man! I don’t have egg nog where I live in Italy either. Can you post your recipe? Maybe also your christmas cookie recipe? I suck at making baked goods. Thanks for the video.

  78. I am pretty much a big Christmas Grinch so I wouldn’t miss all the side stuff. But being forever alone I don’t think the Korean version would be any better either. I am just glad I don’t have to go to church or any of that.

    But merry christmas Simon and Martina and may 2013 be an even better EYK year.

  79. you can MAKE eggnog?? i thought only santa’s elves could make it with their special Christmas magic!! O.O haha i’m definitely going to try making it!!

    • Yes! It’s basically a custard, which is why the first time I tried eggnog I was like, “This just tastes like melted ice cream…” That’s because it shares the same custard base as home-made ice cream, which is also pretty easy to make :)

    • My mum told me it was Santas elves when I was a kid…the betrayal I felt when I learnt there was a recipe…

  80. Isabel Ruby

    what kind of hot toddys do you guys make? i was wondering if the recipe was universal, or there was an alternative to my mom’s….

  81. I can imagine how diffrent could be christmas in korea from that similar that I have in Poland, you showed in mv CHAŁWA -I like it very much but I don’t recognize it as sweet on christmas in Poland :P

  82. I really wanted to know if you have korean friends dating a foreigner, or the other way round.
    And what do korean people think about dateing foreigners.
    I went to korea a couple of moths ago and I was surprised because I barely saw a couple of foreigners.. Every time I could find one, I just wanted to shout and despredly greet and talk to them hahaha

  83. If you really want to shovel some snow you can come to my house and do it (we’re supposedly gonna have snow by Christmas! Yay!). We get the icy snow though, from it melting initially and then refreezing, so it takes like an hour to go 5 ft. Ok, maybe not that long. But still, it takes forever and is such a pain. I hate shoveling snow with a passion.

  84. Egg nog —–> High Street Market in Itaewon…!

  85. Simon and Martina come to Hong Kong!! Hong Kong will definitely fulfill all your Christmas needs and more! We have wreaths and real Christmas trees and eggnog and gingerbread and carolers and all sorts of Christmassy goodness :D

  86. Haha~ I live in New Zealand so I celebrate Christmas before… ALL OF YOU GUISE~ :P

  87. I love your sponge, you know, the one thats just chillin on the counter behind you. it was really distracting O_O ANYWHO! I hope Christmas goes well for you two! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And all those other cheesey holiday greetings!

  88. I would be sad without Christmas decorations or the fun of going to the mountain to cut our own tree. Also the bell ringers that stand out in the cold in front of stores colleting donations for the salvation army tell me that it’s the Christmas season. My kids and I took a turn at bell ringing this year and for two hours we sang Christmas carols while people were leaving the store.

  89. I understand you guise a little bit. It’s been 4 years now that i don’t have a proper christmas holidays because of my exam ! I miss the christmas spirit. Fortunately, i’ll see my family on christmas eve, yeahhh !!! (sorry to brag ^^’)

    One question though, what is the eggnot ??

  90. how is the temperature in korea at winter time?

  91. I have the exact same frog cutting board as you Martina~!!
    Yay Daiso~!!! (^o^)/ lol

  92. If nobody has lights, do they at least have wreaths on their doors?

  93. Haha~ Ficki? XD Fick means f*ck in German. xDD very funny. xD

  94. Aw, come on!
    Sinchon is COVERED in Christmas lights and so far every cafe I have been in has had at least one Christmas tree!
    Don’t tell me you can walk down those crazy sparkly trees in Hongdae without feeling a little bit of Christmas cheer in the air :)

    Not to mention the fact that you can;t go a day in Seoul without hearing “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…”
    Try. You will fail.

  95. You can have Alaska! And the Palin’s with it!

    • Hey, not cool to generalize that my state is full of one type of person. -_- Not nasty Snowy.

    • Wow, I hope not everyone in my country is as hateful and bigoted as you, otherwise I’d happily be Canadian! I’ll try to be hopeful and believe that you are in the minority and that most Americans know that one person is not representative of the whole. You also might want to think about the fact that you are implying by your statement that Alaska is trash and therefore should go to Canada which is also really, really uncool.

      • And you guys need to learn to recognize sarcasm. I live in freaking
        Ohio. We gave the country Boehner. Your state is no different then the rest of us. But that’s a great way to jump to
        conclusions about me. Way to go, peeps. Looks like I’m not the only one
        that’s bigoted and hateful. Grow up and get a sense of humor.

        • Hi there, now sarcasm, Humour and jokes are ok but attacks are not. As you said it was wrong of the other person to assume you were a bigot but that was over 4 months ago.

          Also, tone is hard to read in a written message. It may have been helpful if you had put a smiley or some sign next to your original message so that the sarcastic intent was much more obvious.


  96. How do you make eggnog?

    Happy Holidays Eat your Kimchi Family =)

    • Creamy Holiday Eggnog
      6 eggs
      1/3 cup honey or sugar
      5 cups of milk
      1 tablespoon rum extract
      1 tsp vanilla
      1 cup whipping cream

      (nutmeg) optional
      In a large bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add yolks and honey; beat well. Stir in milk, rum extract and vanilla. Chill. Just before serving fold in whipped cream then pour into punch bowl and sprinkle with nutmeg. Best if you use grade AA eggs.


      • Oh goodness. I’ve been trying to find a simple eggnog recipe for awhile now, so I’m totally stealing this.
        One thing I disagree with though. While grade AA eggs are good, I get the feeling this will be even better with home-grown eggs from my backyard. ;D

        • Home grown are the best. Just make sure to wash the eggs before you use them to prevent any bacterial contamination. Have a great Christmas.

        • Of course, I always do. :3 Good advice, nonetheless. Thank you for posting the recipe, by the way.
          And a happy Christmas to you too!

      • Thank you! I am going to make this tomorrow

  97. Chałwa ~~

    Element polski bo z Wedla .
    Specjalnie zatrzymałam żeby to sprawdzić , czy tam naprawdę napisane jest : chałwa . ^.^

  98. Im so happy i found another fellow specimen!
    Like you martina i can do pretty damn high voices, my friends can’t, so im a weirdo, around my friends TT__TT

    But i’m not alone >: D

  99. Oh my goodness! An old design of Bajadera! Haven’t seen that in a looooong time! Love from Croatia! ^^

  100. If Simon was to sit upon a Korean Santa, he would hurt the man with his DOTHRAKI MAN WARRIOR BUM!!!! *ahem* Anyway… I’m probably not gonna be feeling Christmas until my best friend comes back to town. Only thing I’m really looking forward to. And no, I’m not a Scrouge or a Grinch, I can get falalalala on; I’m just not too cray cray about it. Maybe when I have kids, my cheer level will be OVER 9000!!

  101. While Christmas in Australia is in summer…. we do follow a lot of traditions of Christmas in winter countries and definitely still have the Christmas spirit and focus on family. My (Korean) husband has spent 2 Christmases with my family and really really loved it. He loved the present opening, the big family lunch, the food, just the whole feeling of it. So now, when he does talk about Christmas with his friends in Korea he gets a bit upset and frustrated that they don’t really understand what Christmas can be like. A lot of his friends see it as a time to just go out and get completely wasted, they don’t see their families at all and place no importance on it being a special day. I think those friends may be single, because yeah he did say Christmas is all about couples and that it’s important for “achieving what they want….”. I was blank for a second and then like “Ohhhhhhhh…”

  102. Back in Canada how did you celebrate Christmas? In Canadian or Polish style?

    • Probably a mix of both. The cool thing about Canada is that we’re a mosaic of cultures, and even in people’s background. So there might be Polish food incorporated into the big family dinner, or special Polish snacks (most cultural integration means food~). Um, I believe that Martina is Ukranian(?), and from my experience some Ukranian families go to midnight mass, so they go to a Ukranian church and pray on Christmas eve. As well, Canada has a province, Quebec, who are predominantly French and these Quebeckers have very unique traditions. The go ice skating on Rideau Canal (largest natural ice skating rink in the world, it’s several kilometers long), and they have this delicious cake that represents the yule log (special sort of log that people make wishes on and then burn). There’s tons more, but more-or-less food and family traditions are incorporated into Christmas celebrations, and what one Polish-Canadian family may celebrate may be very different from of what another Polish-Canadian family will celebrate.

      • Coldness at Christmas just…confuses me. I live in Australia and so Christmas means gaudy lights, barbecues, and a pool to spend the day in with the family. I celebrate Christmas breakfast with my mum’s family who have a traditional Scottish Christmas morning, waking up and opening presents and then we go to my stepdads family where we have the pool and the prawns on a BBQ, beer and more presents, but most of them get incorporated into different fun games. Christmas is so different everywhere.

        • Hokkaido Fox

          Thank you for this! I teach ESL and I always try to explain what different countries do during Christmas time (I’m from the States) but I had no idea what people in Australia did. Pool and barbeques! I like it!

        • A bbq and being by the poolside for Christmas sounds amazing. I am jealous. Lol~

    • It was actually convenient for us, because we celebrated both. We’d go to my parents’ house (Simon here) for Christmas Eve dinner, where we’d open Christmas presents and have our big dinner. Then we’d drive back to Martina’s parents’ place for the evening so we could wake up and celebrate Christmas morning. Win-win situation!

      • Oh~~ It’s really nice way of celebrating Christmas ^ ^ I really like Polish Christmas traditions when you gather with your family during Christmas Eve~ But it would be nice to celebrate it twice :D *sends some virtual Polish Christmas atmosphere*

        • That’s the way my German side of my family celebrated Christmas! The whole family gathers in Grandma and Grandpa’s place Christmas eve and does a gift exchange and a big dinner and then they do Christmas morning at their respective homes and then a big family lunch Christmas day. Maybe that’s a European (probably Eastern European) tradition?

        • Daniela Cardoso

          We do the same in Portugal. Also, many people go to the mass to celebrate christmas eve.=)

  103. Hi^^ I’m from France, and I don’t really feel the spirit of Christmas at home either. Maybe because I don’t live in a big town like Paris, but in stores and in the streets, except for the light put up by the town itself it really isn’t very christmassy (how do I write this word ?).

    I’ve never sat on Santa laps, and nobody sing christmas carols here. Oh and people who hang out christmas light outside their home are considered so lame here ! I never understood why people find it pretty, it’s usually so tacky and not very well done.

    For the food, eggnog really sound really weird, it doesn’t exist here – for Christmas we usually have meat/seafood and foie gras <3 and Ice cream ! yeah o/

    Anyway, still celebrating it with my family (since I come from a religious family).

    After all these usefull information (yeah right), I wish you two a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year :)

    • I’m from france too. And it’s true that if you don’t live in big city like bordeaux, marseille, lyon or paris for example, the christmas spirit isn’t really easy to see :).

      I do think it’s pretty, seeing the light outside the home, when it’s not overwhelming, you know.
      Ahahahah anyway, i’m glad i’m not the only wondering about the eggnog. I have no idea what this is !

    • Christmas lights look best when they’re pure white and outline the houses. At night when there’s a ton of snow, so many houses look like gingerbread houses, they’re soooooooo pretty!

  104. PunkyPrincess92

    hehehe SHINee’s Juliette HO~…ho! ho! ho! Me~rry Christmas…….love from SHINee’s Minho, ho! ho! ho!
    ahahahahaha….no i’m not high…..HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! say LA! LA! LA! LA! LA!
    i’ve always wondered what eggnog was! i’ve always seen it in Christmas movies and never remembered to google it!!
    bwahahahaha whoa!!! never thought Christmas Eve was ever seen like that before…..
    do tell us if your guards appreciate your cookies!!!! they’re the vampire guards right? or were they ‘idol-like’? oh i forgot!


    In Malaysia, it’s pretty much the same as in Korea but it’s not about couples though. All the shopping malls will be decorated and there’ll be discounted items, stores selling Christmassy stuff etc. Even hospitals decorate! Some houses decorate them with lights but since there’s a lot of people who are not Christians here, I can’t say that there’s a lot of decoration going on. But it’s still quite jolly here! :D

  106. More or less the same here in Japan. My friends and I call it, Commercialized Christmas. It’s superficial christmas (just decors) in malls and some shops.^^

    • It’s growing in popularity though. It’s probably going to become an artificial holiday like Halloween and White Day but every little bit helps when you feel disconnected from home. My 100 yen store actually had a sizable collection of decorations this year.

  107. ahhh you guys just made me depressed!! i’m in Korea for Christmas, and everyone i know is going home a couple days before. I’m going to be all alone~~ D:
    can i spend christmas with you :3

  108. I actually watched your old Christmas video a couple of days ago lol x3

    Anyway, I’m sorry that you guys aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit :( I would mail you a giant evergreen tree if I could. and I’d string Christmas lights around Seoul.

  109. THEY DON’T HAVE SANTA IN KOREA? What about the children? THE CHILDREN!

  110. So… Simon likes to sing Birthday Sex in the noraebang…
    Oooh, you so nasty~

  111. I live in 충북 and I saw a christmas tree field! Not too sure about Seoul….I’m sure there must be some places….if anything, I’m sure the internet will have something and they can deliver it to you (behold, the nation of deliveries!! haha)

    The major difference in my opinion is Christmas in Korea is more friends/boyfriend centered rather than the family-centered Christmas in America or Canada. Being single on Christmas is a big deal in Korea….(all the single ladies put your hands up…..? ㅠㅠ) they’re even having this event in Gangnam (I think! I don’t remember) where women dress in red and stand on one side of the street and the men wear white and stand on the other side and when they call time, they run towards each other to find a date for the night! LOL

    Another difference is New Years: Korea is family centered whereas the States is friends centered. (Because of these flip-flops, I’ve had many a fights with my old-school-Korean mother……ㅡㅡ)

    Hope your family is doing better and I will continue to keep them in my prayers!

  112. Honestly every time you say about Martina it sounds very Canadian… Very….

  113. As a Korean Immigrant in Canada, I was shocked by snow ploughs when I arrived >_<

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