this was a good one. maybe because we knew what to expect, or maybe because we knew it was our last one in korea, or maybe because our friends feel all the more like family with every passing day, but christmas held an air of cozy sentimentality that last year didn’t quite attain.
we rushed out of schools on christmas eve with the goal of arriving at the holiday inn asap. working a full day on christmas eve had left me a little grumpy, but once we were settled into our room, i started to feel much more in the holiday spirit. we set up our pile of gifts on the desk, and kicked back to watch a little tv and wait for our friends to arrive.
around 7:30, we found ourselves wandering through the cold and lit-up streets of sangmu with adam, angie, and laurence, searching for the perfect holiday dinner. it took a bit of exploring, but we finally settled on a classy, low-lit italian restaurant called el mare. the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was just right.
back at the holiday inn, we had a few quick chats w/family (angie skyped her fam while i rang my mom quickly) and then settled down to watch elf. we all dozed intermittently in the comfy warmth of the room until the movie was over and then all made our way to bed.
in the morning, it was time to open gifts before breakfast. david and i had a nice little exchange in bed while still in our pj’s and surrounded by the feathery down-comforter. we both treated the other to christmas sweaters and other fun little gifts. breakfast was legendary, and we all ate tons of food. carleigh and brian joined us, and it was such a nice, leisurely christmas morning. there was even a little snow falling outside the windows.
after some time in the sauna and a good workout, we packed up to head to clare and graham’s apartment. they hosted a great christmas day party, full of amazing food and tons of our epik friends. it was fun to see everyone and sample all the good food. i was so impressed with everyone’s cooking skills given our limited resources. laurence even made some christmas “crackers” which was whole new experience for us. it was the perfect chill afternoon, and it really had the air of a family get-together, considering all the experiences we’ve shared in the past year and a half.
it was a wonderful christmas, and one i won’t soon forget. i can’t wait to spend it with my extended family again in the years to come, but this one captured such a unique season in my life, it will stand out as one of the extraordinary ones.