The title says it all. It was my first ever Christmas without my mom’s really delicious spaghetti on the table, or my brothers’ gifts, and my dad’s jokes. I never imagined that I would spend Christmas 2011 in a foreign land. But that did not make it less of a celebration. I had fun. That’s even an understatement.
I can say that my Christmas celebration started on the 23rd. My classmates Vimala (Indonesia), Phouangmany (Laos) and Mili ( Fiji) wanted to have a special dinner by cooking at our dorm kitchen! So we prepared our dinner. Actually I just “cooked” (okay, I just heated) sisig-in-can and Argentina corned beef, while they prepared fried rice and fried tofu. The dinner was special because there’s love in preparing it.
After the dinner, we stayed in Phouangmany’s room, to teach them how to use torrent in downloading. Then we noticed that there was snow! Upon looking outside, we saw that the roads were already white! The next step? We ran outside and had our pictures taken! It was the first heavy snow we experienced in Seoul!
Then, we had a chick flick movie marathon, welcoming Mili’s birthday! Movie watching is really fun if you are with friends who laugh with you.
On December 24th, we decided to have a buffet dinner. But we just learned that was almost impossible because of too many Koreans waiting in line at family restaurants. We ended up in the foodcourt and had Korean food instead. We celebrated our good friend Mili’s birthday! Thank you Lord for her life.
While some of my friends decided to welcome Christmas at the bar, I headed to Kuya Cass’ house for our Pinoy Noche Buena! I’m really glad he cooks, that’s why I am able to eat Filipino food while here at Seoul. So they prepared food for the Christmas eve. What was in our table? Paella, morcon, hamonado, dinuguan at puto, biko, lumpiang shanghai, and my favourite tinola!!!
The sumptuous dinner made us feel it is really Christmas (hahaha! ). And after the Noche Buena, it was fun time! We exercised our minds with the game Pinoy Henyo. I actually played hard because the consequence of losing was washing dishes. So if you don’t want to wash the dishes, just play it and make sure you win. We’re all girls in the team, so the result is quite expected. Yes, we won. I went home around 2am with joy in my heart.
I spent Christmas day at EN Church of Korea. It was a joint service, both in Korean and English. After the Christmas preaching, we had lunch and Christmas party. It was my first time to play “white Elephant” in exchanging gifts! My gift was stolen once but I was able to get a cute thermos! I am thankful for my spiritual family here in Seoul.
I forgot to mention that I called my family back home who’s celebrating Christmas without me for the first time. But they had a great day as well.
I did not receive expensive gifts this Christmas, but I am surrounded by people who are God’s gift to me. They are making my life easier here. And they are gifts that are for keeps. Can’t thank God enough for them.
I don’t actually need to look under the Christmas tree to seek for gifts. I already received the greatest gift, the Child who was born in a manger 2000 years ago. He changed my life. He will change your life.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. – Matthew 1:21