Saturday, February 1, 2014

Christmas in Korea

Our lives have revolved around one central theme for the last week: Frozen. Typically, we are years behind on the movie scene. People talk all the time about movies I have never seen or even heard of. Because we haven't had TV for the past several years, we've gotten used to being out of the loop on all things pop culture. Our students think we're nuts, and while it can be challenging at times, it always leads to an interesting conversation.

Eric went to see Frozen with the middle school students who were rewarded for good behavior, and he came home talking about how the kids needed to see it. He was willing to pay for his entire family to see a movie that he had already seen. In the theater. I was sold.

As it turns out, everyone else at school saw the movie that same weekend. (Remember how we went to the theater twice that weekend? We saw multiple people that we knew both times we were there.) The movie was the talk of even my high school classes. It wasn't long before we needed to buy the soundtrack, and nearly every class I had last week requested to listen to it while they worked on writing their epics.

This weekend, we have a long holiday weekend for Seollal, and Kennedy asked to have one of her friends over for a play date. The brilliant child came home one day and said that her friend still hadn't seen Frozen and really wanted to see it. She even played to our sensitive sides when she told us that Arianne didn't understand any of the games at recess this week because she hadn't seen the movie. Needless to say, we gave in, and Kennedy and I have also seen the movie twice in the theater now. There's just something about this movie.

Our Christmas, on the other hand, had a different soundtrack. I'm thankful that after more than two months Cade was finally willing to give up the Christmas music, but I'm sure it won't be too long before I'm ready to be done with this soundtrack, as well, considering he requests it from the time he wakes up in the morning until he goes to bed. I only get some respite at school. I am grateful to add some variety to our Disney soundtrack repertoire, though; he was only content with The Lion King and Cars up to this point.

Our Christmas was very laid back. We had caramel rolls after opening stockings and then breakfast casserole after we opened all of our presents--sometime around noon!

We were on FaceTime with grandparents from both sides while opening presents (which is why I have pictures of both the boys holding their phones). We're so thankful for that technology!

My brother brought a gift to continue the "pickle" tradition that my mom began years ago. As kids, she used to hide a pickle-shaped ornament on the tree and whoever found it, received a bonus gift--usually a game of some type. We don't have a pickle ornament here in Korea, so we just hid a random one. Kennedy had a distinct height advantage, so she found it and scored a puzzle, which we all enjoyed.

Cade had desperately been needing some new boots, and he was pretty excited to discover that his new boots matched Uncle Fraffy's. He wore them around the house with his pajamas all day long!

The afternoon was spent with all five of us hunkered on the floor playing with, building, and sorting Legos. When the boys' eyes started hurting from staring at Legos for too long, they began working on the model airplane that Kennedy bought for Cade. It still hasn't made it much past this stage; it turns out that they're hard to complete when the directions are in a foreign language.

We were so busy playing that we didn't even eat any of the food that I planned to have. We ended up eating leftover fried chicken and cereal around 9pm before we put the kids to bed because no one felt up to making anything.

It was certainly a relaxing day; but this year more than most, we missed being with family. Most of my family was able to be together this year on Christmas day with my grandma's funeral just a couple of days afterward, so it was hard not to be with them. We were happy to have my brother here, and I was happy to be with my kids and not an airplane somewhere over the Pacific. And, we were so grateful for all of the gifts that were sent--these kids were beyond spoiled this year! We kept looking at the tree thinking about the fact that we had never seen so many presents under a Christmas tree before!

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