Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Decor

You may have caught the reference in my last post....yes, I took a picture of our Christmas tree...yes, we got a Christmas tree, and yes, that cake was delicious! (Seriously, it was amazing!) I really like that picture of our tree, too, because it doesn't look as tiny and fake as you will see it does in these pictures, but that's okay. Honestly, I wasn't sure that we were going to get one at all after seeing that a 4 foot tree at Costco was about $250. The ornaments were expensive there, and one stocking was about $25, so I was beginning to think that our only Christmas decorations would be the die cuts that I made at school. 

can't you just hear Cade saying "cheese"?
I had heard that Namdaemun has a lot of Christmas decorations. Now, of course, I'd never been to Namdaemun, but I had directions via subway, and I was sure that we could get there without too much trouble. Then, last weekend when Eric and I went to the Lantern Festival, we drove by the craft and teacher supply store that the school hosted a trip to last summer. Eric had gone on the trip, but since it was in the afternoon and since I didn't have a classroom that I needed supplies for, I didn't go. I'd been asking him to take me because there were some craft items I wanted to get for the kids, but he wasn't sure he could remember how to get there. So, I was very thankful when I actually saw the store from the bus, as well as a few stores with Christmas decorations (that store is also amazing! Five floors of every craft and/or school item you can think of. Kennedy added a number of things to her Christmas list!). So, I was all ready to set out this weekend to see what we could find.

no, that is not my child in the picture...I was just lucky there was only one random person in this picture!
As you can see, what we were able to find were some seriously gaudy Christmas decorations. It would have been pretty hilarious if I hadn't seriously been looking for something that I could purchase and bring home. This is the outside of the store where we bought our tree, but the inside was just as chaotic and it was full of people (it only fit a total of 10 people in there, though).

that's Eric's "really? the other way?" face...if you thought he got lost in Stanwood...
I know. It looks just like every other picture of a Korean alley I have taken. I actually found a store last weekend in Dongdaemun that had Christmas decorations, too. I picked up a strand of 100 lights for about $20, and again, I thought that would be all the decorations we would have. Jeez. Thankfully, the prices in Namdaemun were more competitive. We were able to pick up about a 3 foot tree for $25, two strands of 50 lights for $10, and two little boxes of ornaments for $5. What a relief!

while waiting for the bus

the kids were so excited that we got a tree...Cade literally could not wait to decorate it!

Only half the lights were on, but they got every single ornament onto the bottom half of the branches! It was kind of sad that the entire thing was done in about 5 minutes because we only bought 12 ornaments, but that's okay. The really sad part is not having the ornaments that Eric and I grew up with or the ornaments that the kids have been collecting in their short lives. For me, decorating the tree is more about the memories that every ornament brings back, but we are creating new, unique memories that can't be replaced. Our old ornaments will still be there whenever we decide to move back to the States.

The good news is that since it's so small, it didn't take me long to get all of the lights on and rearrange the ornaments after the kids went down for their naps!


  1. Did you bring the pickle with you to hide on the tree? Lindy

  2. Hi, could you give me more details as to name/location of that 5 story teacher supply/craft store?Really would come in super handy. Thanks.

  3. It's called Alpha and it's right on the corner next to all of the camera stores in Namdaemun. Good luck!

  4. No, Lindy, we didn't bring the pickle ornament, and I haven't seen one here either...


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