To be completely honest, it feels like the magic of the holidays becomes less magical with each year, gradually fading away like the quieting stillness of a dying heartbeat. I know that I am not the only person who feels this way, and I can’t help but wonder (as the years go by) – why? Is it because I am getting older? Maybe. With age comes wisdom, I assume. I suppose I am more aware of the mass capitalist consumerist mentality of Christmas and I guess that it can take away from the importance of other (less selfish) aspects of it. I don’t think, however, it is as simple as that. It can’t be – can it? If so, maybe I want to cling desperately to my ignorance for just a little longer. I reminisce about the years I would look forward to Christmas with true excitement – I would experience what I can only loosely describe as a pleasant fluttery feeling that would encompass my entire body, leaving me with chills running up and down my spine.
This year, I felt compelled to try something new to steal some of that nostalgic memory back. Christmas with my family has always been concise and to the point, sometimes even having felt rushed in the past. That being said, they haven’t been bad, but I know that our families can all make an effort to do better.
I really believe that this Christmas has set a new precedent for the years to come. Most of the gang was in town. Instead of the women and men eating separately, they ate together. The whole family played games together. I brought one that I had played at a previous Christmas party and everyone was excited and loved it. We also played a Korean New Years game (yut noh li) where I heard my grandpa yell in excitement for essentially the first time ever. We drank together. We laughed together. I think the point I’m trying to make is that some of the influences of Korean culture, a separation of gender and age, was almost non-existent this time and the lines drawn seemed to disappear. This may seem weird and even comical to some, but it can be extremely divisive.
The food is always memorable at any family gathering – a delicious fusion of Korean and Canadian culture. Savoury pork hock braised for hours in a simmering sauce and sliced thin, tasty japchae noodles, freshly made spicy kimchi, slow roasted turkey and creamy mashed potatoes are just a few of the dishes that decorated the table this year.
I know that this post is a little different than usual, with the food lingering in the background as opposed to the forefront, but I hope you enjoyed reading nonetheless. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to seeing you all in the New Year!