'tis the season

Christmas light display in Nampodong
I don't know how to begin this update...the holidays this year are particularly overwhelming SO here goes...

December arrived in Korea without the familiar snowfall and temperature drop. Hyunhee, my co teacher, invited Kym and I to her Christmas party. Secretly I think she hosted it for just me, seeing as it was her first. I had been talking about the magic of the holidays, well, pretty much since Thanksgiving. She is SUCH a sweetheart! Here I met her daughters and some of her Korean friends, they had a good laugh at my expense, clearly my Korean language skills need a lot of work. It was a pot luck event, naturally I brought baked brie and crackers, Kym and I were circling the food table all night. Not doing much to defuse stereotypes about westerners and obesity I'm afraid.

I sent a package of Christmas goodies off to #67 before their departure to Whistler and was thrilled to receive one back! It arrived on the day I was presenting my Christmas PowerPoint presentation to my grade 4s & 6s so I was actually able to incorporate tangible visual aids. However, I am not sure if they fully understood that these presents were for me from my family in Canada. Regardless plenty of ooos and ahhhs. I have also been reminded of how fantastic my friends at home are! The girls have sent me cheesy cards, my favourite snack foods and other little treats that I have been missing. My friend Anne actually sent my family a Christmas card because she is missing our house too - this brought me to tears. On that note, the holidays are usually a time for reflection and being away from most of my loved ones, it has been quite an emotional month. It is hard to believe that we have passed the four month mark. This experience has already proved to be everything I had hoped it would be and I am sure moving into the second half of the journey a new set of opportunities for growth, friendship and understanding will present themselves. I have said to my parents on a number of occasions how much I would love to be in two places at once, but for now I have made my peace with creating a new set of holiday traditions with friends in Korea. It is very comforting for me to think of you all cozy at home, with family and friends indulging in whatever makes the season special for you. Enjoy it!

Sending you my holiday best and warmest wishes from a safe and happy New Year. See you 2011!
Grade 4s at Seongnam Elementary