What We did for Christmas

Last weekend we took a last minute trip to Seoul to go shopping. We couldn’t find anything in Daejeon to get for each other. But the English bookstores and cheap street markets of Seoul enticed us up.

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We went on an adventure to a Gamer Alley to buy some games for the Xbox. We ended up finding every console and video game since pong. Really – original Nintendos and Gameboys. Games, working controllers, etc. It was an adventure in itself seeing all the old-style games.


We also got this amazing street food.



They spiral cut a whole potato, bread and deep-fry it, then sprinkle your choice of flavor on it.



We split one. It was definitely some of the best, and simplest street food – to make, not to eat. It’s actually very difficult to eat a spiral potato.

After our nice trip to Seoul we were more ready for Christmas. It finally felt like Christmas. I think shopping is part of it – whether or not it’s about giving or receiving, shopping is certainly a part of Christmas. I put some music on and wrapped … we moved the tree to the desk and piled up everything beneath it


On Christmas Eve we had to go to school but the second we got off we headed to the store and bought some of the more expensive things that we kinda-always-want but never get (cheeses, alcohols and appetizers).

Christmas Eve was spent as if we had gone to a party – we just ate appetizers and drank.


Here’s our coke and soju – some open-faced jalepeno poppers and some chip dip.

When we got tired of eating and drinking we put on How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The live-action 2000 version. Fret not, I watched the animated 1966 version with many of my classes.

On Christmas morning we made infamous “apple-meat” a dish long consumed on Christmas mornings at my house. Then we got to work on stockings and presents.

We found these pre-made sort-of-stockings  so we bought them just for fun. They ended up being an assortment of chips and crackers.



Our stocking haul and presents to open.


Chris gave me some pens and day-planner, a drink only found in the US (for fun), headphones and some makeup.

I gave Chris a puzzle (first all-metal puzzle in the world), a day-planner, a coffee grinder and some socks.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out and playing our new video game.

For Christmas dinner we had big plans for porkchops and fancy sides. In the end we thought – Christmas party-part-two and we made appetizers again.


Shrek-shaped hot wings, devilled eggs, jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. Too much food. But the abundance of food felt somehow more like Christmas. More importantly we made devilled eggs in the rice cooker. Yeah, didn’t know you could hard boil eggs in there – but you can. Finally we watched A Christmas Story and the original Frosty. It was very merry.


It really was a good one. The name of the game was: stay distracted. Too much downtime or boredom would only draw attention to the fact we were not with family. Really, it didn’t end up being a problem. We cooked, we drank, we listened to nonstop Christmas music until we were sick of it, we watched too many Christmas movies (I’ve been watching them with some of my classes). Just having the day off was a gift in itself.

I know a lot of family members sent us some money as gifts. We were surprised with 3 extra days of vacation that we didn’t know about/misunderstood. So sometime in January we’re going to take a trip somewhere using a lot of our Christmas money. Maybe skiing in Japan, maybe lounging on the beach in the Philippines. We aren’t exactly sure yet.


One thought on “What We did for Christmas”

  1. I love your Christmas story! You are making your own versions of traditions that are new and old and run deep in emotion. Have a great week! Love Mom

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