Life in Korea

5 Ways on How to get the Christmas Mood in Korea in 2021

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Wanna know my 5 ways how to get the Christmas Mood here in Korea in 2021? Despite the pandemic let’s make the holiday special!

I first came here to Korea in 2016 and it’s the saddest Christmas of my life. It was the first time that I felt how lonely it was. No friends and family parties, no Christmas carols outside, and no one ever prepared a gift which is all we do in the Philippines. We don’t even have a Christmas tree but a few days before the holiday my Korean teacher visited at home and gave me a mini one that I still keep until now. Whenever I listened to Christmas songs on Youtube it always make me cry till now. Christmas in Korea makes every foreigner like me feel ‘home sick‘.

This year, I am celebrating my 6th Christmas here in Korea. I remember it was 2018 when my friends and I held a party in our house together with our kids. It was fun, I felt like I was in the Philippines for a bit. Also, it was the first and last, though.

To make this year special despite the pandemic, I prepared a list of how to get the Christmas mood here in Korea.

READ: 5 Ways to Enjoy Winter in South Korea

5 Ways on How to Get the Christmas Mood in Korea

1. Putting up the Christmas Tree

Honestly, not all Koreans celebrate Christmas due to different beliefs but if they do, they also put up a Christmas tree just like us. Many of us grew up in the tradition of decorating our homes with Christmas decors, lights, and of course the star of the holiday, the Christmas tree. Christmas decorating makes us happy and reminisces our childhood memories even though we are away from our home.

Putting up the Christmas well includes shopping too! Since many of us change our Christmas tree’s decor each year.

2. Prepare Foods and Drinks

It’s a tradition to us that even though we are out of budget, we still find ways to prepare something for Christmas. And some people, don’t understand that. I was actually asked, “Why do people celebrate if they don’t have money to buy food?” I replied, “It is not about the food, but it’s about the family being together.”

Although I am here in Korea, I actually prepare the usual Christmas Filipino dishes like spaghetti, lumpiang shanghai, salad, Leche flan, and others. But if you don’t have time to cook, there are available foods and drinks that you can buy Just like cakes from Paris Baguette and Tous Les Jour, ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. Also, did you know that ordering a fried chicken and pizza is the easiest option of all?

3. Listen to Christmas Songs

If you are visiting here in Korea during the holidays, you’ll notice that it is quite a silent Christmas. Why? Because you can’t hear any Christmas carols outside unlike in the Philippines you can hear them everywhere. There’s a law here in Korea, that when shopping malls play Christmas carols or songs, they need to pay for the copyright. So some really don’t play any just to lessen the expenses maybe. But yesterday, I went to Lotte Department Store and they’re playing instrumental Christmas carols.

This is how I listen to Christmas songs, I turn on Youtube on TV and search for the Christmas Songs Bonfire, and then I’ll choose the Christmas medley so it will continuously play.

4. Christmas Light Displays Hunting

I’ve heard from someone that Christmas here is only for business and that’s quite true. Because when the holiday is done, the Christmas light displays are also taken down it’s like nothing happened. So, for me to at least feel the Christmas mood I tried some Christmas light display hunting.

Photo was taken at H-Village, Hyundai Department Store (COEX)

Department stores here in Korea like Lotte, Hyundai, Shinsegae, IFC Mall, Times Square, and many more have their different themes for Christmas display. Lotte has the Little Cloud Big Wishes motif, IFC Mall has the Santa Clauses, Hyundai made the H-Village theme, and Utopia Holidays for Times Square. Shinsegae’s LED and light ‘Magical Holidays’in Myeongdong made it so famous this year.

Also, the city government put up a huge Christmas tree at the Seoul plaza and a light display at Cheonggyechoeon until December 31.

READ: Christmas Light Displays in Seoul

5. Watch Christmas Movies on Netlfix

Since the everyday positive cases of corona and Omicron is getting worst day by day, I think it is best to stay at home this Christmas. Aside from listening to music, and lighting the Christmas light and tree, why not watch Christmas movies on Netflix with the whole family, right? There are so many movies that you can watch and don’t forget that Gong Yoo’s ‘The SIlent Sea’ will be released on December 24.

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How about you friends? How will you celebrate Christmas this year?

Xoxo, Hyejin 

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12 Replies to “5 Ways on How to get the Christmas Mood in Korea in 2021”

  1. You described them one by one as detailed, always to us to know more about it! Now I’m fully equipped all about spending Christmas in Seoul Korea! It’s not as we spent holiday season here in our country but … The essence of it makes it most important

  2. That’s really the main reason when you celebrate Christmas in a foreign country especially if you’re not celebrating it with your family. That’s also what I felt when I went to Dubai. I just slept the Christmas night away 🥺 Though the year after I make sure that Im home in the Philippines for Christmas 🥰

  3. I Defenitly Love this Tips and Reminder Ms. Jin, all this was really Great and Helpful, Thanks for sharing po, really Kahit Papano Ramdam Mo narin ang Pasko sa Pinas.

  4. Aw I love these, ma feel mo talaga ang spirit of Christmas. Gusto ko yung mga Christmas lights hunting at pa count down pics mo po, sobrang ganda Ms jin.

  5. Yeah iba talaga ang pasko dito sa Pinas. Someday when I migrate to the US, I will feel the way you are feeling right now. But iba pa din talaga yung pasko before the pandemic.

  6. weird ano? even if we have little money in our pockets, we could still find ways to make our family feel Christmas, especially during this pandemic. Napansin ko nga ano, its very rare nga din sa mga Kdrama (of course thats where i will base haha) to celebrate Christmas. But im sure you will have a blast today! Happy Christmas especially to your little boy!

    1. Yes because family is very important to us kaso dito material things ang pinaka importante sa kanila 3rd lang ang family.
      Parang wala pa ngang napanood na Kdrama na ang setting is Christmas. Merry Christmas din sa inyo!

  7. Thanks for sharing this . Very helpful po ang mag 5 ways para mas mafeel ang Christmas. Iba padin talaga kapag nakikinig tayo ng mga Christmas songs and nakakapag visit sa mga place na may Christmas lights and decorations ❤️🥰

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