Christmas is an interesting time in Korea. From what I have heard, it is mostly a couples holiday, that and small children. Children sometimes get presents from Santa (snacks, chocolate, gift cards) but when they are older and discover Santa is a myth, they stop getting presents. As for the couples part, there is something called “solo Christmas” that is a interesting concept. It means exactly what you think, alone on Christmas. Christmas is actually one of the loneliest days of the year for Koreans when the fact that they don’t have a significant other gets thrown in their face (kinda like Valentine’s Day).
When I was having a conversation with the kids about the differences of Christmas in America and Korea, one of the boys seemed to get fairly upset and talked about solo Christmas. If I understood it correctly, he was actually alone on Christmas, not just sad about having a breakup as the term usually implies.
Luckily, David and I did not have a solo Christmas but we didn’t really do much. We hunkered down, watched a Muppet Christmas Carol, made a Christmas breakfast (potatoes and eggs) and dinner (pork, MASHED POTATOES, and broccoli), and skyped with my family. Even though it was so low key, it was nice to have a day off work!
New Years was much the same. We had New Years Day off work and I wanted to go out and party but unfortunately David was sick. So we stayed in once more and watched Buffy. We did go to Byeon-Cheon for dinner, American style. We had a delicious pizza from this place called 59 Pizza. And it was a lot cheaper than our adventure to Pizza Hut.
We also stumbled upon a little market where we bought some Korean “treats” (we thought they would be sweet but… they were not) for 5,000 won.