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.
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.
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.
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?