Shock in a Box – The Christmas Post

I hate the lead up to Christmas. Throughout December, I rant non-stop at my friends and family.

I am a pre-Christmas Grinch.

Christmas lights – The attention seeking brat of neighbourly cheer.

Christmas Shopping – Phobic.

Myer’s Windows – Not lovely enough to hold attention, resulting in a rousing children’s chorus of the ‘Bourke Street Scream’.

Fake Christmas Trees –  Worse than the smell of Pine-O-Clean.

I hate pre-Christmas because it is nothing like Christmas. Pre-Christmas is that joyful time of year when I start to wonder whether love really is measured by material possessions and a horrendous electricity bill. I become bitter and twisted, counting my pennies; meticulously planning a Christmas Dinner that could headline Food Porn Weekly.

I love Christmas.

I love that I get to see my ridiculously large extended family. I love that getting a gift is more exciting than the gift itself. I love that I get to eat like I have the metabolism of an eight year old.  I give up on the fancy dinner and hoe into a non-glazed ham thrown unceremoniously on the table next to the yo-yo’s, gravy and mince tarts.  Gravy-laced-brandy-custard is delicious.

This year was different.

This December has proven truly remarkable.

I wrote Christmas Cards and letters (that have no hope of arriving before January). I decorated using the kitsch-est ornaments I could find. I bought a 10cm Christmas Tree that is entirely fake and yet I think it’s wonderful.  I created another tree out of green masking tape on my front door. I own a headband with reindeer antlers and my TV is wrapped in fairy lights.

I’ve planned lessons around Christmas and given the gift of Freddo to all of my students.

I’ve eaten Christmas [sponge] cake out of a cup with chopsticks and guzzled a towering mess of soju.

I have loved every moment of my Hallmark-Scented Korean Christmas Adventure.

On Christmas Day, I joined other expats for a delicious feast of turkey, mash, Yorkshire puddings, cakes, truffles… The list goes on! It was so refreshing to eat hot food at Christmas without feeling like I had melted into a substitute for the gravy. I felt like I was having that oft dreamed of “White Christmas” – in a country that views Christmas as an excuse for an extra Valentine’s Day.

None of it was like home, yet I felt so… at home. So welcome.

Before I sign off I want to mention how grateful I am that I have such kind, wonderful family and friends back home.

Thank you for skyping me into my favourite family gathering and for making sure I had a KK gift to open Christmas night.

Thank you for skyping me into the carols.

Thank you for making sure I knew I was loved.

Thank you for the letters and parcels.

Thank you for the photos and stories.

Thank you for my post title… Shock-in-a-Box… A box full of cards, chocolate, a chupa chup, vegemite, books and a choral t-shirt.

Thank you.

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