December 26, 2014
It was a new experience having Christmas in a different country. Even though last year we were travelling the week leading up to Christmas (Budapest, Bratislava, & Vienna), living in a new place and knowing we wouldn’t be home created a different mindset. In some ways it was more exciting. The cold (much colder!) weather felt more like Christmas and being around the kindergarteners at school made it easy to exhibit my excitement. I decorated the class with a Christmas banner, a countdown, snowflakes, trees, and stockings. We got in some fun Christmas activities throughout the month at various Christmas markets, too. We visited another one last weekend in Sinchon. It was only their second year holding a market so it was pretty small, but we did get some good photo opportunities.
We also stopped by the ice rink in front of City Hall which is open until February! But in the end it still felt only a little like Christmas. It’s not celebrated in the same capacity here so it was difficult to fully embrace the Christmas season. Having the kindergarteners at school really helped though. On Wednesday we had a Christmas Party where we decorated stockings, “cupcakes,” had a singing competition, and Santa visited! It was exhausting but a lot of fun!
I also filled my kids’ stockings with candy and presents! It was really fun watching them open their presents. They were very happy! I got the boys Pokemon cards and Alina some cute hair accessories.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas we ate delicious meals with Pam and Paul – chili for the Eve and coq au vin for Christmas – and drank lots of beer and mulled wine. Of course, we neglected to take any photos of our revelry. We had a very relaxing Christmas Day watching movies and talking to our families. We even got to open some presents! It was a very merry Christmas.
Here is a rather terrible video (half of the lights were out in the room) I made of the kindergarten kids singing Christmas carols: