it’s hard to believe it’s almost christmas! the work-week leading up to this weekend has been one of the most hectic, so i hardly had time to think about the holidays. and on monday the 26th, i start my 2 weeks of english-intensive “winter camp,” so i haven’t had much time to mentally relax or reflect on the christmas season. part of me thinks that’s a good thing – if korea treated christmas like america treats christmas, i might feel more homesick. but part of me certainly longs for a special holiday where everything stops, and we all get to relax and savor times with family and close friends.
thankfully, as i sit here and type this on christmas eve morning, david and i are packing up our things to spend the night in the holiday inn downtown with some friends. we decided to treat ourselves to a little get-away (plus, we hear they have a good brunch for christmas morning), and apparently, this is typically how koreans celebrate christmas – renting out a nice hotel room. it’s sort of a fun holiday spent with friends here, and it’s also seen as a “couples” holiday. when in rome, right?
and, when we flung open our windows this AM to let in the sunlight, we saw everything was covered in a blanket of fresh snow. also, a highlight of our morning.
even in the busyness of our workweek, we had some holiday parties and fun gatherings to remind us of the season. the first one happened on wednesday: the english department of education hosted a holiday party downtown for all the foreign teachers in gwangju, complete with a massive buffet that had TURKEY, GRAVY, MASHED POTATOES, AND STUFFING. our plates were a comical mixture of kimbab, rice cakes, korean fare, and american staples. they had kids put on a small program for us, and we got to sing some carols and play some christmas trivia games. it was a great, relaxing night.