Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Korean Christmas

Last weekend I celebrated Christmas by Skypeing my family and going to a zany work dinner. It was a poor trade for a real Kalk family Christmas but I still had loads of fun.

The reason I didn't get too depressed was Christmas in Korea is nothing like back home. Its seen as another couples holiday like White Day, Valentines Day and Peppero Day. About half of my Elementary School Students reported getting a gift and none of my middle school students did. One distinctively Korean tradition is the Christmas Cake. These cakes are sold at every store on the peninsula and are more standard then Santa or a Tree. Some of the stores that sold cakes include Baskin Robbins, Paris (Baguette and Croissant), Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and countless others. The cakes look adorable but are generally dry and custardy. The Christmas Cake tradition is a bit of a let down compared to all of the wonderful baking I missed at home this year. Yet the Cakes do have home style Christmas beat on one thing. They all come with hats. Check out the Baskin Robbins penguins. It looks good on the cute salesgirl but I have seen these hats on old men and women on mountain tops. Only in Korea.

My favorite hat this year would have to been the Paris Baguette hat. Its a wolf..wearing sheepskin? And now for your viewing pleasure, the PB Christmas Cake commercial that has haunted my dreams for the last month. I had to give you the long version so you wouldn't miss out on 2PM's rap.

Christmas morning I went to Mass with a friend and her mother. Mass was in Korean but I could understand everything that took place because of the international standards of the Catholic Church. Its wonderful to feel so connected to Catholics around the world! The Choir was incredible. They sang all the Carols in Latin and with operatic style and quality. That being said their was still major differences. The most shocking one was that all of the women covered their head with pre-Vatican two doilies. I was told its wasn't mandatory but my friends and I were the only ones without. Also the sermon was as done as a musical number by the priest. After mass we were asked to stand up and say where we are from. You know that vising Ethiopian family? Yes, its me.

Do you like the traditional Korean manger complete with pumpkin on top?

After mass I went to the work party but it didn't fulfill my Christmas craving. I imagine that I will have a mini-break down in July when my Christmas alarms rings six months over due. I never even had a eggnog latte...

Merry Late Christmas Everyone!


  1. Finally, we can read your blog again! Cute videos. Karen will enjoy the Baskin-Robbins - - - that was her first job. FYI - i didn't do much baking and only had 2 eggnog lattes. After learning they had 450 calories it kind of sucked the fun out of it.
    It's good to be Catholic - isn't it?

  2. I like how the BR is across the street from Mr Pizza, but next door to a lingerie store.

  3. Missing you during Christmas and New Years! :( Glad that your Christmas was fun and hope to talk to you soon.

  4. Glad you're back in business ~ Happy New Year! - - - The Paterson's

  5. I checked out your link to the Korean Food Journal - HILARIOUS CAKES! But I noticed our Fred Meyer jumped on the krazy Korean cake idea with their own cupcake wreath (even a rather garish green -"GO DUCKS" for the Rose Bowl cake). Cute, but none of them look tasty. Also, am I wrong or does the reindeer look like a pig? or is that vice-versa??