Typically the lead up to Christmas is one that goes unappreciated by me. Like a lot of youngsters, I did my time as a retail slave during my studies, and have seen some in-explainable shit go down during the festive season. Seriously, women show no mercy during a Christmas sale. Any sale for that matter.
So, that being said my first Christmas away from the chaos (namely Oxford Street for you Londoners) was one I assumed I would welcome. But believe it or not the lack of cheesy signage, poxy decorations and ‘Commercial Christmas Cheer’really made me sad. The problem is I keep underestimating how much home means to me. This isn’t a moan, because if I were unhappy here, trust me I’d pick my ass up and leave.
Korean Christmas was oddly beautiful . Everything usually comes to a halt for a day or two back home, here the wheel was still churning. Shops stayed open, transport still ran and roads weren’t pin drop worthy. The communal and collaborative spirit of Xmas weren’t all that bloody communal! Essentially, I had to remember that while there are a LOT of Christians (and I mean a lot) in Korea, Buddhist culture makes up for the majority.
Korean Xmas facts for your ass…
-It is a ‘couples’ holiday. Expect to see couples out at dinner rather than families. This holiday, like so many others in Korea is heavily influenced by romance. See floating heart decorations below lol. Being together is still the main focus.
-Only the touristy areas or large shopping malls were heavily decorated. It was as if the malls tried to make up for the lack of decorations elsewhere. I noticed that that homes were not covered in lights.
-Christmas songs, Christmas carollers, anything and everything musically that isn’t Mariah Carey or a K Pop rendition was a myth. I never thought I would see the day where I longed for Michael Bublé.
-Christmas day is a bank holiday but Boxing Day is not. If you are employer happens to be open for business on the 26th or Boxing day is not on a weekend. Your going to work sorry.
A visit from my best friend in November, followed by my crazy older sibling made my festive season. Opting to (in her words) ‘YOLO,’ we decided on a stay-cation at the JW Mariott, and eat fancy at TAVOLO 24 . Aside from the continental brekkie, I was most excited about the tub! 5 months without a bath, brought on borderline tears of joy I tell you….disclaimer; I do wash, but the majority of basic Korean apartments only have showers/wet rooms.
Christmas time is also my birthday period, so I saw it mainly as a reason to celebrate my 5 month in Korea mark and to loosen the purse strings. Not that I ever need a reason…