Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Recap: 2013

Even though it was just the two of us this Christmas, Matt and I had a pretty good celebration this year. It's amazing how different Christmas is when it's just being celebrated with two people. 

{Decorations from the ward party- I am a sucker for anything that says 'Ho, Ho, Ho' } 

In the morning, we were a little down I guess because it finally sunk in that we were alone. Like alone alone! I noticed this day could have quickly turned into an all day sob fest of how the expat life sucks, but I really didn't want that to be our Christmas celebration. So we just thought positive and made the best of our two person Christmas. 

Here is a little recap of what we did over our Christmas 'Holiday': 
*Note this post is very long* 

Saturday, December 21 

Matt and I were going to head into Seoul to ice skate, but we realized we still had shopping for the two of us to complete. So we stayed around town and finished up our Christmas shopping. 

That night we went to our ward Christmas party. One of the activities on our Advent calendar was to put together gift packages for the ward missionaries. We decided to give each of our missionaries a stocking filled with stuff that they might enjoy. 

{Each stocking had: a Vitamin C drink, 2 hot pads, a notebook, a pen, post it tabs, hot chocolate, marshmallows, Peppero candy, M&Ms, a clementine, popcorn, and a snack bar} 

{Elder, Elder, Elder Giles, Elder Lee, Sister Kim, Sister Giles} 

The funny part was that the missionaries had transfers* earlier that week, so all the missionaries that we actually knew had moved and we were giving stockings to complete strangers. But you know, it felt just as good. We didn't make the stockings for specific missionaries, just our ward missionaries. It was so nice to give something to the young men and women that are taking the time to serve a mission for our church. I know as an expat it's hard enough to spend holidays without your family. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for the missionaries. 

Four of the missionaries were from the states so they understood the stocking gift, but two are from Korea. The Korean missionaries were really excited and thankful for the stocking gift. They kept repeating over and over 'This is my first one of these. This is my first one. This is my first big sock.' 

I am really happy we did this. I think this is going to be a new tradition that Matt and I continue. 

*Transfers: Every 6 weeks the missionaries change areas of where they are serving.* 

Tuesday, December 24 

On Christmas Eve we had to work. It was actually a pretty big shock because I have never worked all the way up till Christmas. It really made me want to make sure I stay in the U.S. education system just so I can have a nice holiday break. :) 

In the morning, Matt and I just puttered around and then went to work. That evening we wanted to try this new Italian place that opened by our house, but it closed around 9:30 and we don't get home till around that time. We decided to eat at one of our favorite chicken places in the area. 

Then we went home and started our usual Christmas Eve traditions. We exchanged our PJs and watched A Christmas Story. Later that night, I was able to Skype with my mom and my little siblings.


Luckily enough, a package came for us from my mom and Abuela & Papa filled with our Christmas presents. We decided to break out the blankets Abuela made for us. My Abuela always makes fleece tie blankets for people in the family. Earlier this year, my cousin Jessie, told me my Betty Boop tie blanket was a little raggy, so Abuela made me this new one. I just love the owl pattern and the bright green fleece! And I love my Coke pjs. 


This year I got Matt some fleece Star Wars PJs. He just loves them! And his blanket from Abuela & Papa is Avengers themed- it turned out so well! Seriously, how cute is this guy? A little nerdy... but very cute. 


Does anyone else just love this movie? Each year, Matt and I laugh and laugh while watching it. 

Wednesday, December 25 

Happy Christmas! Like I said, the morning was a bit rough for us, but once we got in the Christmas mood we were all good to go! Matt and I started the day by opening our stockings. 


{Don't you just love the handmade stockings we have! My MIL made them for us for our 2nd Christmas together.} 


Santa really pulled through this year! I guess all those good reports Norman sent each night really paid off. Our stockings were packed. 

After stockings, we had a nice breakfast of American style bacon (yes, there's a difference), eggs, and potatoes. It was just perfect. Later in the day, we opened our presents. 








I have to say many thanks to our family for sending us so many great gifts. We know shipping is an arm an leg, but we really appreciate it. 

After presents, we put together our Christmas dinner. This year, we decided to go for an at home Korean BBQ thing. We bought pork, steak, and chicken and made all the sauces we like when we go out to eat. We did that along with our traditional sides of: mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, and deviled eggs. It was a lot of food and we were stuffed! For dessert, we did the same chocolate trifle we had at Thanksgiving. 




This is our second year of doing Christmas Crackers! I am so thankful for my father in law making these for us each year. It was so fun to crack them open and see all the goodies inside! We love wearing our Christmas crowns! 


After dinner, we watched the movie ParaNorman {one of our favorites, and where our elf Norman got his name}. We also attempted to make a gingerbread house of just cookies, but that was such a failure we didn't even take pictures. 

For it just being a Christmas for two, it was a pretty great Christmas. And here in Korea, Christmas is a couple's holiday (almost like Valentine's Day), so I guess we fit right in. 

At the end of the day, we were able to Skype with our families back home. We talked with Mom, Joe, Mandi, Olivia, Jud, Barry, Abuela, Papa, Aspen, Coda, Beau, Ava, Janice, and Kevin. It was a perfect way to end our Christmas! 

I hope your Christmas was a good one! 

Happy Christmas from the Hos. 

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- Alex