A Christmas Slice of Life

Miyoung totally made my day yesterday by bringing family Christmas Eve to Korea.  We went to my sister-in-law’s house and had sausage, pasta and mashed potatoes with butter (I’ve given up butter except as it fits into my native cultural celebrations) and buttered french bread.  I know that for most of the Costco 다니는 foreigners in Korea this would seem like not such a big deal, but for me eating two homemade western foods at a time is a once-a-year event. It was a big hit, and the food all got eaten, even by my in-laws, who were skeptical about a meal including neither rice nor soup.  I was initially worried that I would be forced to spend Christmas Eve (always a bigger holiday for my family back home than Christmas itself) in a department store or eating some jive-ass Korean Christmas cake, so to be able to have a nice family meal with my in-laws, my sister-in-law and her husband and two kids, watch the kids open presents and then drink beer was huge for me.  A few beers in I told my family ‘It looks like we’re really becoming a “multicultural family” (다문화 가족)’ as I realized how much I had been influenced by them and how little they’ve been influenced by me.  Maybe it was last year’s visit to America, maybe it’s the American baby on the way, but these days I’ve really been thinking in terms of preserving my American culture.  The best part was on the ride back home, when Miyoung’s parents were complaining that there wasn’t enough sauce for the pasta and her brother goes ‘Well, it was our first Christmas, next year will be even better’.  That’s pretty huge, I think.

We came home at 11 to a huge box of gifts from my mom and family in America that arrived right on time.  The box was full of baby clothes and toys, gifts for us, and most cleverly of all, plenty of chocolates and candies from Harry and David.  Nothing seems to be a better gift for my family than things that they can share with their friends, and my brother-in-law left the house with a big bag of candy for his girlfriend, my parents-in-law went out to meet their friends with a sack of Russell Stovers and Cadbury.  My family called and I was on the phone with them for almost two hours, talking to everyone and getting a sore throat.  Finally Miyoung and I settled down with a basket of clementines and turned on the Misuda (미수다, 미녀들의 수다) Christmas special and got to watch giggly half-Koreans talk about how much they love soju as the host and the ever vigilant subtitle team pointed out their every hilarious error.

‘Hey Miyoung, how’d you like to be on a show like this and have every mistake you make laughed at?  Me neither.’

‘Miyoung, even though half the 미녀들 are now half Koreans, I don’t want our kids to be on Misuda.’

And then our baby kicked so hard I could see it from four feet away through three layers of clothes.  Life is interesting.

~ by Joshing on December 25, 2008.

One Response to “A Christmas Slice of Life”

  1. Good story, man.

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