It’s Christmas Eve! Or, it is in Korea. I’m not sure about your side of the world, but a happy holiday to everyone.
This past week, I’ve taught my student’s how to write Christmas cards. My 5th graders watched some clips from A Charlie Brown Christmas. They made Christmas cards. I was very happy to see that many of them were addressed to parents and friends. It’s nice to see them write messages of thanks to friends and family.
As interesting a typical North American Christmas can be, that is not what is in the air in Korea. Christmas here has a lot more Cupid involved than Old Saint Nick. It’s a couple’s holiday, where everyone goes out and leaves the kids at home. And just like New Year’s, if you are single, it’s a pretty depressing holiday. There’s a lot of pressure to have a date. Of course, it also matters on who you are. If your the type of person to be bothered by all of your friends asking if you’ve got a date, it’s going to be annoying. If you don’t care about the teasing, it’ll be just like any other day.
As for me, I’m a little oblivious to Christmas here. I know the holiday is here, but there hasn’t been any of the traditions that usually precede Christmas. I did get a little teary eyed when I heard the Mannheim Steamroller clip in Home Alone. My family always plays their music around this time of year. It’s a constant presence-more so than any Bing Crosby music has been apart of our traditions.
Korea’s family oriented holidays are Chuseok(Korean Thanksgiving) and Seollal(Lunar New Year). From what I’ve seen and heard though, Korea starting to get hooked on the concept of a commercial Christmas. It’s a bit different. The Hyundai Departmant store in Daegu was decorated in Kakao Talk characters.
A giant, electronic Christmas tree was placed outside. For 500 won, you could have it play your favorite Christmas song, along with a light show.
I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas season!