Visitors to Korea may notice Christmas decorations up when it’s nowhere near Christmas. I’ve definitely seen them up all year round. When I ask Hugh about it he says it’s just because people think they look nice. Christmas is a couple holiday in Korea but there are still a lot of Christmas decorations around, so they have adopted that element of Christmas culture, but not the culture of actually taking them down after Christmas! I think for western countries, besides from the belief some might have of them being bad luck if kept up, we take them down because they lose their importance and meaning if kept up all the time. I think in most countries Christmas trees are taken down in January, unless it’s a lazy university student’s share house. We appreciate decorations when we don’t constantly see them and that’s what makes Christmas a special time. Seeing a dusty Christmas tree in a cafe in July is just depressing (seen that many times in Korea).
I understand that Hugh really likes how pretty our tree looks, but I’m still going to take it down.
When do you usually take your Christmas tree down? Or throw out if you have a real one?
We did our best to recreate an Australian style Christmas in Seoul. We sourced some things locally but also had some things sent from Australia like gravy, Christmas crackers and Christmas chocolate. Our friends Han and Sophie and their kids Alice and Gyo joined us for Christmas lunch.
Hyunwoo (from Talk to Me in Korean) and his family also visited in the afternoon.
Our lovely friends Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi invited us to Seoul for Christmas. We had a Christmas party on Christmas eve. It’s actually pretty hard to get all these types of food in Korea so it was a lot of effort to have a party like this. But it made it extra special. Here is a quick video… mostly of food.
And here is a vlog combining several days. We actually had a lovely relaxing time over Christmas so there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff to film.
Something else that we didn’t mention in the video was that even though Christmas is viewed as a Christian holiday in many countries, there seems to be not much connection between it and actual Christianity in Korea, at least not to the extent that I’m used to. Even though many Koreans are Christians, I see a lack of nativity scenes and religious symbolism but instead lots and lots of Santa and Christmas tree stuff. I think in Western countries, even if you aren’t religious, you may go to church on Christmas with family because it’s tradition, but it doesn’t seem to be the thing here as it’s not as ingrained into the culture. Also the fact that it’s a couple holiday and not a family holiday seems to play a part in that. To me Christians seem very insular here and although they go to church on Christmas, it’s not the welcoming services for all that I see Western churches doing. I just doubled checked with Hugh and his response was like, “Why would anyone else go to church on Christmas??”
For me I think that’s one of the disappointing things about Christmas in Korea, besides from it being a couple thing, there isn’t that type of Christmas service that everyone feels they can go to.
We had a last minute fan meet in Seoul on the weekend. They can be difficult to organise sometimes but this time there was the perfect amount of people and we had it at the You Are Here cafe. Thank you to everyone who came! It’s really nice to put some faces to screen names and everyone was so lovely!
I also filmed a tiny bit of Christmas decorating at Simon and Martina’s apartment (from Eat Your Kimchi) because we stay with them when we visit Seoul. From the video it seems we were just trying to put Christmas hats on Spudgy and Meemers…
I didn’t film the meeting with publishing company because that’s all boring stuff. But the book will be released soon! To see more of our Seoul trip, subscribe to our vlogging channel.
Even though we have moved to Korea we will continue the Ask Korean guys series and have filmed several weeks worth of videos. If Mr Gwon has any willing friends in Korea we may film some with someone other than Han (gasp!!!).