I know this is a little bit late, but I wanted to share my thoughts about Christmas in Korea and America.
December 25th is a holiday for many nations around the world. Although the initial purpose was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ from the Bible, today people who are not Christians celebrate this holiday. We consider it a day that should be spent with our loved ones, calling the day X-mas.
However, regardless of the religion or the concept of “spending the day with the ones we love,” people in different cultures seem to think of Christmas differently.
Koreans seem to put their focus on spending their time with the opposite sex on the holiday. Statistics have shown that men and women becoming couples are highest around (especially prior to the) 25th of December. For the ones who are not couples (like me) we “prepare” for the day of couples. We look for a place to stay where couples cannot be seen; places like pc bangs, a friends home, or our own houses. We try to spend a busy day so that we feel Christmas passed by without notice; possible options are renting movies, attending parties, or watching the annual Home Alone series. Otherwise, we feel lonely and jealous looking at the cuddling couples in the street.
Last year, I was an exchange student in Wisconsin and I was quite surprised to find out how people in Wisconsin spend Christmas differently. In Wisconsin, the idea of spending the day with the ones we love seem to be focused on families. The family time starts before Christmas looking for the prefect Christmas tree, buying secret presents for each other, and decorating the house with lights and ornaments. On Christmas morning, we woke up six in the morning to open presents and in the afternoon, went to visit their grandmother where their relatives gathered. I could never forget the scent of Christmas cookies their grandmother made.
Despite the same day, Koreans seemed to consider Christmas a day NOT to spend as a single, and on the other hand, people of Wisconsin think Christmas as a day to spend the day with their family and relatives. As for me, I would rather be in Wisconsin right now.