A Korean Christmas
While this wasn’t either of our first Christmas’ away from our families, it was our first time away from all members of either of our families. Spending a traditionally family-oriented holiday away from all of your family in a foreign country is a little weird, and even though we tried to make it special, it didn’t really feel like a “real” Christmas. But we still managed to make it fun!
Christmas Eve we decided to spend by ourselves (not with the other expats) since it’s our first Christmas together since we got married. We had a lazy day of sleeping in, cleaning and grocery shopping, and then we set about making ravioli from scratch. We had to improvise a little–ricotta doesn’t exist here, so we bought cream cheese instead, and since we don’t have our pasta maker here that meant rolling all the dough out with a rolling pin, but overall, it turned out pretty good!
Christmas morning we opened some presents from each other and Andrew, and some of the care packages we received from our friends and family that we saved for Christmas day. Thanks everyone! Then I made a big breakfast of banana and walnut french toast and mimosas. Our friend Melissa (she’s from Portland, small world!) joined us for a mimosa, and then we all met up with Stephanie and headed to a nearby city (Hanam) to go to a Christmas party thrown by other expats.
The couple who threw the party are South African and own an alcohol import business, so they were able to use their office space for the party. They ordered traditional Christmas food from the U.S. military base (mashed potatoes, gravy, ham, turkey and stuffing, yum!), and served some South African beer. Overall, it was a great feast! There were Americans, Canadians, Brits, South Africans, Kiwis and Koreans alike there…it was quite an international Christmas! There were also two babies, and best of all, a kitten! The kitten belonged to the couple throwing the party, and basically Stephanie, Melissa and I just took turns holding her throughout the day.
Overall, it was a lazy but relaxing holiday. 메리 크리스마스 (That’s Merry Christmas spelled out phonetically in Korean!)