Christmas in Korea
Christmas in Korea is fairly interesting. It’s not as big of a deal like in the United States. Playing secret Santa with colleagues in the office is non-existent. Decorating personal spaces with Christmas decorations is seen more as a daunting task than a joyful occasion. All the teachers are anticipating the end of the holiday season because that means one thing, vacation.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still some aspects of Christmas in Korea. Black Friday sales last longer than just the weekend after Thanksgiving. Christmas music starts playing by the second week of November. Little girls start wearing reindeer antlers as a fashion accessory and the students get obnoxious as the end of the semester slowly approaches.
This holiday season was very dull for me. Maybe because being away from family and close friends it somehow lacked significance. When I taught in the States, this is around the time when I would already be on Christmas break.
Not so much, in the land of the morning calm. I still have to go to work the day after Christmas and the days leading up and after New Years. Although, this year my husband and I are celebrating a foreign Christmas, we have our vacation to look forward to in January.
Fortunately enough, this weekend we are going away with a group of friends to Jeonju Hanok Village, which is very famous for its art, Korean food, and traditional Korean culture.
There we will rent a Hanok house for the weekend, swap Christmas gifts, eat heartily and enjoy some wonderful company.
I had a choice as to how I wanted to spend my first Christmas away from home. It was either being miserable because I missed the familiarity of being around family and friends or create great lasting memories of Christmas abroad. I chose the latter.
So, as I write this I look out the window and enjoy the beautiful light snow falling from the sky. I anticipate watching the movie Elf with my students and laughing heartily at certain scenes. I look forward to the new memories I will create with my husband and friends at Hanok Village. Christmas is really what you make it. Try to make it a joyous occasion.
I look forward to the new memories I will create with my husband and friends at Hanok Village. Christmas is really what you make it. Try to make it a joyous occasion.
Have you spent Christmas in Korea? or any other country away from home? What things did you do to create your very own Christmas abroad? Let us know in the comments section below.
Willynn taught in the education field for three years. It was her curiosity and interest to see the world from a different perspective that lead her to Daejeon, South Korea. Willynn is currently working with young learners teaching English for EPIK in South Korea. In her free time, Willynn loves to go on adventures with her husband, Micah, engage in language exchanges at coffee shops with the locals in her community. As well as participate at Open Mic events across Daejeon and Seoul sharing her spoken word pieces. Follow Willynn on Youtube or on WordPress.