Today was the first Christmas I’ve spent away from home, and it was really strange. I’ve spent other major holidays away, (Easter in Brussels, and Thanksgiving in Seoul) but Christmas is different.
I specifically recall seeing a picture of a turkey and getting very angry because I knew there was no way I was going to have anything close to a real turkey for dinner.
It feels like yesterday when my parents were busy preparing early Thanksgiving before I flew to South Korea. I can taste the gravy now…the mashed potatoes, oh my god.
Easter in Brussels was easy to get through; I just distracted myself with amazing chocolate until I returned to Ireland. Thanksgiving was so early in my stay with my school that it felt like a nice initiation into the group.
Christmas is different, and I don’t think I would have made it through today without video chatting capabilities, and really good friends. I have no sound advice about spending the holidays on another continent, I am not nearly experienced enough at it to reinforce any of it!
Honestly, I wish I was home for the holiday…it just felt so strange without bacon and eggs in the morning, and going to mass on Christmas Eve. I also miss my dog and just the good feeling that comes from being home on Christmas. My parents sent me a hilarious photo of my brothers holding up a photo of me on Seoul Tower in our hallway like we would normally stand every year on Christmas. Being able to video chat with my family really made a difference, and it feels slightly more like Christmas now that I got to talk to them.
My school had a secret Santa, which helped put on some extra Christmas spirit. It was fun to pick out a present and watch my coworker actually really enjoy what I got them.
On Christmas day five of my friends and I met up for some lunch/dinner, games, and a white elephant gift exchange.
It was a really nice time, and the food was really good, despite not having an oven! We also played a game that was a combination of Taboo and Charades. We split up the teams into Girls vs. Boys and of course the girls won, haha!
Later we attempted to visit Seoul Tower, and while it was a bit ridiculous, the view was very nice.
I also bought myself a cute teddy bear at a shop on the top of the tower. It’s not truly Christmas without feeling like a child again, so the teddy bear was a perfect solution.
Pat and I also took some time to visit the Line Friends store in Itaewon, and boy what a trip! I loved the store so so much. I particularly enjoy the dedication to characters in Korea. Line Friends, Kakao friends, and even Snoopy and Stitch are pretty popular.
Pat did not love it so much, haha.
The shopping felt positively anti-Christmas, but sadly the only places that really had any Christmas cheer were the shopping areas.
No matter, I still had a great Christmas hanging with friends, eating amazing tangerines, and video chatting with my family.
I hope you had a happy holiday, and have a safe and fun New Year!