Korean Christmas

Published: February 20th 2011
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Chopping down the Christmas tree in the woods, decorating it by the fire, eating popcorn and laughing were all parts of those years gone by. Many years went by where I stayed away from anything surrounding Christmas. Friends invited me over, girlfriends, acquaintances from work but I would always decline. Then something happened; I got married.

Since our marriage we have been attending the Jackson Family Christmas and slowly I have learned to enjoy myself through the singing of Christmas carols to the eating of treats and goodies all day indoors. We've even managed from time to time to decorate the house with lights, build a snow man and make snow angels, too!

Then we were off to South Korea and the only holiday Shauna, dislikes missing is Christmas. I figured we'd have no problems getting home. But I didn't think return flights home at Christmas would be nearly $2,000.00! In the end we weren't able to get time off either because of the strange 'vacation system structure' they have implemented around here.

We were stuck. No traditions. No piano. No Music. No treats. No decorating the tree together. No sharing stories around the dinning room table. No making snowmen and snow angels. Just kimchi, gochujong and seaweed! What a Christmas this was going to be?

It was a week before Christmas and I said to Shauna one afternoon, "you know what we should do? We should exchange one small present a day, until Christmas day!" "Are you serious?" Came her reply. "Certainly am. We get to have our "own" Christmas this year. Let's do it. One a day until Christmas. Plus Christmas Eve is taken care of thanks to the Santa Gift Exchange." "Okay. fine. But I still want to sing carols." "Deal."

Everyday from Tuesday to Friday, we were opening a present. It was fabulous! Finally a Christmas to talk about.
On Tuesday, we looked at the pile of gifts each of us had. Shauna's was towering, big boxes of various shapes all wrapped in packaging tape and newspaper. The recycling man's wrapping paper. She looked at things, pecking and poking trying to figure them out. I laughed. Looking over my own presents, I couldn't help notice that the biggest one was only six by six inches! Great, nothing too exciting this year, I thought to myself.

On the first day of our "south korean christmas my true love gave to me;"
Aaron a medium sized bar of Icy Blue Soap!
Shauna multi-colored pajama pants!
On the second day of our "south korean christmas my true love gave to me;"
Aaron a book by C. Reich!
Shauna cute little pink and brown ankle socks with a bear print!
On the third day of our "south korean christmas my true love gave to me;"
Aaron a hand warmer in the shape of a Polar Bear!
Shauna four Namsan Tower magnets and a book mark commemorating "love!"

On the fourth day of our "south korean christmas my Secret Santa gave to me;"
Aaron a green and red stocking reading; Ho Ho Ho, a hand knitted scarf and 3-bags of hot chocolate mix!
Shauna a pair of very fuzzy short black leggings!

Then on the 24th, we attended a special Christmas performance put on by the Edutainer department. It was about Santa Claus and his elves, getting presents and the reindeer ready for their trip on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to the kids all over the world. There was a bit of acting but mainly they sang beautiful songs to us all in attendance. After a half hour of the show, they switched gears and put on solo performances singing to their favorite Christmas carols. The entire audience helped out with singing the carols before the final act came on. Everyone wishing all the others a merry Christmas and happy holidays, too!

Leaving the concert hall we both felt invigorated with our Christmas eve. Walking home we talked about making dinner, drinking a bottle of wine and watching a Christmas Carole. The problem was we didn't have a Christmas Carole but it was the thought that count. Instead we watched a romantic comedy, sat in our PJ's and chatted about Christmas day possibilities. "Sleep. My vote is we sleep until we wake up without an alarm clock. Drink a pot of coffee, have some finger food snacks, open presents and then just mellow out. What do you think?" Shauna asked. "Well, I like all those things except I'd like to make you breakfast. How about omelet or blueberry pancakes?" "Oooh breakfast! Made by you! Whatever you choose to make I'll eat it!" Came the smiling response.
"Okay. Our Christmas day will be an exceptional one."

Christmas morning we woke up late around 10:30am, pulled out the coffee pot, put on some Christmas music and just opened up the curtains letting the sunshine into our apartment. Slowly waking up, we decided to wait an hour before we opened up presents. After the hour was over we began with the first of our presents.

One after the other we opened up our presents. Waiting to see the other ones face. Each present we took a photograph and then laughed about what they might be. If there was a story about how we found it or where it came from, we relinquished the tale to the other person. In the end Shauna gave me the following presents;
A 4-sided bronze Buddha head with 4-different expressions; Happy, Sad, Angry, Laughter. An Expedition Timex Dive Watch, A Ritter Sport - cornflake chocolate bar, A packaged of Chocolate Digest Cookies, A 2011 Ernest Day planner and weekly scheduler, A Korean luggage tag, A box of Ghana Chocolate and a set of couples k-ties for your cellphone. A k-tie, is a cellphone charm.

The presents I purchased for Shauna were a package of 12-miniature Cherry Ripe Chocolate Bars from Australia, A Pierre Cardin black leather purse with this strange glow in the dark bear in a pinstripe suit figure attached as the pull cord, A yellow and purple yearly planner, a bottle of Cheap and Chic Moschino Light Cloud perfume and a Spieler Extreme Sports pullover. Smiling the two of us gave each other a kiss, thanked the other one and checked out the rest of our things. Laughing at each of our presents we in turn decided to put things away and get ready for breakfast of green pepper, mushroom, spinach, carrot with pepper jack cheese omelet's. After breakfast we kicked it around the apartment until we ordered pizza, drank another bottle of wine and called it Christmas!

We hope everyone had a delightful Christmas and a Happy New Years!

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