Happy (Belated) Holidays from Korea

The holidays are finally over and it’s time to fill in the blog world on what Kevin and I have been doing for the past couple weeks.

Christmas Time!!!

First, came Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, this was the first year I was actually required to work on Christmas Eve. That was quite the change. As I had mentioned in my previous post, Koreans don’t seem to get as excited as we Americans do. That didn’t stop us though!

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Kevin and me, all dressed up for Christmas Eve!

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Kevin sits under the “Christmas Tree” wondering what awesome present I have purchased for him.

It was really fun to try to bring a bit a Christmas cheer to the kiddos on a late night at the Hagwon. I told stories about my childhood Christmas of Santa Claus, running down the hallways to a sea of presents, etc. I then had one student tell me, “Teacher, I envy you.” Some Korean children might not get any presents for Christmas, it just isn’t done. I wish I could have bought them all presents, but I could only manage a few treats for some of the classes.

After teaching a lovely 6 hours at the Hagwon, Kevin and I headed over to one of our favorite restaurants, The Grill. This restaurant has some amazing dishes for a  great price.

Soon after dinner, our wonderful gift exchange began. I will share a few awesome highlights and you can scroll to the bottom of the page if you would like to see the full gallery.

My prized gift from Kevin was an awesome, orange hiking bag (which has recently been put to good use…more on this later). I gave Kevin some fashionable shoes and very nice sweater that he had pointed out a few weeks prior.

After the gift giving and light packing for the pension. We snuggled in to watch a Muppet’s Christmas Carol (a tradition of mine.)

Kevin had to use 3 different kinds of wrapping paper on this beast.

Kevin had to use 3 different kinds of wrapping paper on this beast.

The fantastic sweater!

The fantastic sweater!

To the Cozy Sweet Pension!

When Christmas morning arrived, Kevin and I made some tea in our lovely red kettle, wished each other a Merry Christmas and then it was off to the pension! For those of you who are not aware of what a pension is, it is usually something reserved by couples. It is a small two person condo near either a beach or scenic area. We had decided to split the pension between ten people (quite the cost savings).

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While at the Cozy Sweet pension, many activities took place. Among them were Secret Santa, White Elephant, Meat Beast Feast, Celebrities in a hat, FIFA, Super Smash Brothers. I am so happy Kevin and I had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with some great friends. The pension was a great idea and cost effective once split 10 ways.

We also ended up having an enormous amount of extra food, which meant….Kevin and I got to eat steak and potatoes for a week (I still have a bunch of potatoes left). Furthermore, the left over food was used one week later in our amazing Christmas Dinner: Take 2 (really it was just New Year’s Eve Dinner).

Friends at the pension.

Friends at the pension.

White Elephant gifts, there was only one or two completely unusable gifts (hint, the one wrapped in a garbage bag).

White Elephant gifts, there was only one or two completely unusable gifts (hint, the one wrapped in a garbage bag).

Let the white elephant stealing begin!

Let the white elephant stealing begin!

Sunwah was the recipient of my amazing coin box, complete with American money and stickers.

Sunwah was the recipient of my amazing coin box, complete with American money and stickers.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Kevin must always be climbing something...the ceiling was no exception.

Kevin must always be climbing something…the ceiling was no exception.

The tiny kitchen where our immaculate feast was prepared.

The tiny kitchen where our immaculate feast was prepared.

Meat Beast Feast 2013. So much steak.

Meat Beast Feast 2013. So much steak.

Let the feast begin!

Let the feast begin!

Culture Update/Observation
Most apartments are heated through hot water pipes in the floor. I actually love this in the winter because the floor is never cold (except in the bathroom). However, I have run into trouble when we were first figuring out the heating system. I accidentally turned the heat up pretty high and when I came back home the apartment was really hot and couldn’t walk around in my bare feet, the floor was so hot! I haven’t made that mistake again, apparently it might break the pipes as well (or so our landlord believes).