New Traditions: an oxymoron?

Tis the season. This is that time of the year when we think of others (hopefully). We gather with friends and family. Some people eat together, go to church together, sing carols, visit family, help those in need, or avoid the holiday altogether. There are people’s traditions. A tradition is a happening of sorts that has been passed over for a long period of time (give or take). Those of use who live abroad learn that traditions aren’t always easy to keep.


My Christmas traditions: work. eat chinese food. sit through disney traffic. occasionally visit with friends who are celebrating.

Ahhh the famous Jewish tradition: eating Chinese food on Christmas. “You’re in Asia! You can totally do that,” say my friends who need to improve their geography skills. Asia is a continent with a variety of countries that are not all Chinese. I’m in South Korea. Chinese food is not Chinese food. Ramen is NOT lo mein. Kimchi jigae is NOT egg drop/wonton soup. So…New tradition: eat Korean food. Or…. I can join my newfound friends and do my best to make their holiday easier. Stories of homesickness are flooding my ears. Couples have it easy- they spend it with each other! Singles, like myself, have a bit of a harder time. In honor of my new friends, I’m throwing a Christmas brunch. No turkey or lamb. No potatoes or ham. It will feature chocolate chip pancakes, baileys coffee, banana and pumpkin muffins. And a load of bacon.

I don’t remember what I did for Christmas last year. I think I worked. I was in Thailand, so that shouldn’t be a surprise. However, I did get the chance to Skype with my friend who was having his annual Christmas party. He, and friends from years back, got to see and hear my Thai students singing ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston. It was a huge success. This year, I managed to Facetime with the same friend and see all the same friends from last year. No students this time. I wish I could have been at that party. I know it was a blast. But in a way, I was there. I got to chat with a few people for a few minutes on my Christmas Eve Day (and their Christmas Eve Eve). So for two years in a row, I’ve video-chatted with my friends at Christmas at some party of other. I wonder how many countries I can call from? I also wonder if there will be another one? Don’t get your hopes up, America… I don’t have plans of coming back just yet. if at all. The Big Apple would be the only place I could imagine calling home. Maybe the Windy City…but… I’ve been there in winter. it’s horrible.

Anyways. This Christmas Eve I will be watching movies and cleaning my apartment in preparation for tomorrow’s brunch. Tomorrow I actually have a day off. It will be filled with eating and talking and probably sleeping. And laundry. as always.

Merry Christmas to all. Photo on 12-24-13 at 9.29 PM #2

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