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Odds and Ends: Christmas in dramaland

girlfriday: Christmas is coming! I wish an elf would sneak into my house and make it festive and Christmassy, because I sure as hell won’t. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t snow here, but store-bought Christmas is as good as it gets.

javabeans: The holidays snuck up on me, which is disorienting both because I’m not a festive holiday person, and because I’m not ready for the rest of the world to be festive and holidayish either. Today the person in front of me in the drive-thru paid for my coffee for me, and I went ice skating and the monitor waved me through without paying. All this goodwill is making me suspicious.

girlfriday: What, do people become randomly nice at Christmas time where you live? Because where I live, I’m constantly afraid of being run over by a mom on a mission to buy things.

javabeans: I’m not convinced there’s no catch. I feel like I’m supposed to pay it onward before Fate gets back at me for being selfish, because if dramas have taught us anything, it’s that Fate is real and easily angered.

girlfriday: This is the universe telling you to buy me coffee. And many other gifts.

javabeans: But if I give because I feel coerced by fear, doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of holiday cheer?

girlfriday: Who said anything about cheer? This is all in an effort to stave off Fate’s inevitable retaliation, and I find that fear is a good motivator for most things in life. Also shame. Every time I procrastinate on writing my year-end review, shame kicks my butt back into gear.

javabeans: Just think: If you don’t finish, you don’t get Christmas!

girlfriday: My mother would be pretty mad at me if I ruined Christmas. See? It all comes back to fear and shame.

javabeans: I’m going home to see the family this Christmas, although the holiday itself was never big in my family. It’s not really the same in Korea as it is here — they’ve adopted some of the American customs, but Christmas has that romantic theme in Korea that it doesn’t have here. Like, who are you spending Christmas with?

girlfriday: Yeah it’s strange that it ended up being such a coupley holiday in Korea, where the emphasis is placed on needing to find that special someone to spend Christmas with, or you’re supposed to feel sad and lonely or something. Whereas here, if I didn’t shirk all of my other social obligations to see my parents on Christmas, they’d disown me. But this tradition has no bearing on my actual life — it’s just in every drama I’m watching at Christmas time.

javabeans: Honestly, these days if it’s not in a drama, it doesn’t feel relevant to my real life. But yes to the drama part: Will It Snow For Christmas, Christmas in August, If It Snows on Christmas, romances all. Okay, maybe not White Christmas.

girlfriday: LOL. Not exactly. The thing that dramas do really well is make snow seem really pretty and romantic, and I always catch myself thinking that I miss living in a cold state where it snows over the holidays. But then I remember that snow turns to slush and I have to tell myself that dramas don’t show you the part where you’re shoveling your driveway. Still, winter dramas do have that extra snuggly factor that I think adds to the romance.

javabeans: Plus the live-shoot means at least it looks like it’s actually Christmastime outside, instead of 80 degrees in autumn with fake snow swirling around. On the downside, why don’t dramas break for Christmas? Won’t they think of the recappers??? Don’t tell me the answer to that.

girlfriday: That’s the worst part about Christmas in Korea, actually — there’s no all-day marathon of old-timey Christmas cartoons followed by Miracle on 34th Street. It’s just regular dramas airing like clockwork, which means that we have to juggle holiday plans with a full TV schedule. It’s so insensitive. What about OUR NEEDS?

javabeans: Well, it is sort of a self-imposed pickle. We could just un-pickle. We just don’t know how to do that yet or maybe ever. Apparently the only holiday important enough to disrupt the drama machine in Korea is Chuseok. I guess as a fan I would be happy to have more dramas airing, but it’s just that I’m tired.

girlfriday: What we need is a forced de-pickling, like when you come home for the holidays, your mother takes away your computer, shuts off the wifi, and detoxes you.

javabeans: Over my dead body. Also, that only works if you’re going to be on the wagon forever. You’ll just come back and retox anyway, and in that case why deal with the pain? Also, we should probably ditch the drugs metaphor because it’s heading into an unhealthy place.

girlfriday: I think it’s a little late for that. Hey, no one likes a quitter, right?

javabeans: Also, what else would I do over the holidays at home? My parents pester me for months to come, I do, and then Mom and Dad go off pursuing their own interests while I’m in my room doing nothing. I think they just like knowing I’m stuck at home.

girlfriday: So, it’s either watching dramas at your house, or watching dramas at Mom’s house. Or you could go outside and… do stuff.

javabeans: Christmas without dramas? What are you, a barbarian?

 
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LOL... I don't celebrate Christmas but I do experience the holiday itself. But without snow (since I live in tropic country)
Christmas in dramaland indeed looks really romantic. And this post makes me miss Enrique Geum!!

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How do you "experience the holiday" without "celebrating Christmas"? Wondering how one does that.

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I don't celebrate Christmas either but it's hard not to get into the swing of things where I live. Lots of parties, good food and conviviality. We almost never have a white Christmas, it's usually pouring rain and one year we did have a major flood.

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Me too *Raising hand
I don't celebrate Christmas, but the atmosphere is Christmas-y (if that's even a word). I'm taking advantage of a long weekend, free of traffic out town. It's quite a solemn time here in the country though, what's with massive flood everywhere and major landslide. Anyway, wish everyone a good and restful holiday XD

Dear ole Dramabeans writers, you've worked hard >.<
Please take a rest!

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Easily! We have a tree with gifts under the tree. Lights outside the house and non-religious holiday cards sent. Christmas is more about celebrating prosperity and being together with the immediate family for us. Religious Christians are surprised that there is no "Christ" in our Christmas. We say it's more important to give thanks that we are all happy and healthy.

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I don't celebrate Christmas, but I do enjoy the festive atmosphere in my city -the holiday songs, the decorations, etc.

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@ momo
LOL! "Experiencing the holiday without actually celebrating..."

I'm also in the hot and humid, (usually rainy at this time of the year), tropics. So fun is had without snow.

Many shops and restaurants will be decorated (including fake snow and snow flakes) and playing Christmas carols or Christmas-y music. There might be people dressed as santas and santa-rinas to serve customers.

Night spots will have Christmas dos for patrons and friends may have gatherings, and sometimes, among friends or where there are children, gifts are exchanged.

Even those who may not actually celebrate Christmas in the Christian way, are still welcomed to visit any church on Christmas Eve and they can stay for whatever celebration that is being held.

So those of us who are caught up in this, do experience something of the 'holiday' season, although we only have a 1 and a half days holiday from work.

I personally do really celebrate Christmas, so blessed Christmas All!!!

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@momo & GB
Yep that's what I mean, I don't celebrate it but all shopping areas are decorated with Christmasy things and people dressed up as Santa Claus, giving gifts and such. So in a way I feel the Christmas holiday season without actually celebrate the Christmas itself.

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Same for me as a Moslim living in a western country. Unfortunately it's not snowing yet, which I like the most about the winter here.

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Hi javabeans and girlfriday!

Thanks for putting yourselves in a pickle for us, but I can and will stoically go through withdrawal at least for a week,... no... make that a couple of days... rather than have you over-salted and vinegar-ed during the holidays.

It's true though, even when families get-together, we still end up spending hours apart doing our own thing. But at least we'll be within seeing distance from each other :) . Have a break, do. Enjoy your families while you can, things never stay the same forever (as life and dramas show us). I wish you good health, a Good Christmas and a year full of great dramas and events to look forward to. :D

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So true. Things never do stay the same.

That's one of the many reasons I love Christmas. It's an annual 'reset' button. It's a touchstone that reminds us to express the love we have for each other. Love that's easily left unexpressed, due to the busyness of daily life. And it's a gift of our most precious asset, time.

Another wonderful thing I like about Christmas is how celebrating it by giving, perpetually gives back. It forges lasting warm memories of having loved others well. And it eventually mitigates the regretful 'if only's' that we otherwise would feel when ones we love can no longer be with us.

So Merry Christmas everyone! I've loved spending time with you this year.

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I wish you both a happy holiday. For me, I had Korean BBQ in Shoreline with some of my K-drama watching buddies, who are such a wonderful addition to my life and that are all thanks to the meet up you had at tha Ballard library, and it was festive, fun, and relaxing. There was bulgogi, soju and none-stop talk of k-dramas. Now that is the way to kick off the holidays. Merry Merry!

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whoa, whoa, whoa!! i had no idea they were ever in the seattle area. :o

in any case, happy holidays to jb, gf, and everyone else on dramabeans. i do hope you get lots of rest (and i'm sure i won't have to hope that you get lots of fooding in there, too).

p.s. i also think it's interesting how christmas is couple time for korea and japan... for us, you're lucky if see your boyfriend at around that time, because it's family time. XD; (getting married solves that but then introduces the problem of which family gets which time slot for the holiday season. :x )

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Wasn't that a great thing-we have a little drama buddy group formed from that meet up as well...perhaps we should have a Seattle area get together just for grins - How about lunch January 3rd? In Shoreline at your restaurant? It looks like there are two in Shoreline off of 99, which one would be better?

Can't get enough talking about dramas - just watched the end of Misaeng and High School Love On - one deeply satisfying and the other a bit of fluff, no doubt you can guess which was which.

Maybe Beanies around the world should all go to a Korean restaurant at noon on that day - wouldn't that be cool?!!! Then we could all send JavaBeans and GirlFriday selfies of ourselves in our various locales.

It would be a great start to the year.

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Yenny

We are always up for a good excuse to eat BBQ and talk dramas. We met up at the Old Village Korean BBQ at 15200 Aurora. The food was good. I am told there is also a great place across the street that has more adventurous options but I don't know the name. If you are on FB we do have a private group called Seattle K-drama. It is a great place to talk dramas and biases in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. It is also where we plan our meet-ups (BBQ, Korean movie outings, and Go stop parties). Let me know if you are interested.

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Hey there. Another Seattle Beanie here!

Did you put together that Yahoo group? I'm not on 'the FB', but would love to know when you guys get together! Have a couple of other people that are new to Kdramas who might like to come too.

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awww, jb/gf, I'm sorry about the pickle! You really do have so many things on your plate...anyway, here's wishing you guys and everyone who celebrates, a Merry Christmas and a good time!

PS: Looking at those caps reminds me, it's almost two years ago that Flower Boy Next Door started airing! I did love that drama...and it's nice to have another Park Shin-hye drama to love now (Pinocchio)

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Happy Holidays everyone! :D

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For the past 6 years, I've been inviting friends over to spend the holidays with me...so that we could watch/rewatch all the good kdramas that aired that year.

I don't mind late recaps (I enjoy watching more if I read recaps after not before) so I hope you just enjoy time with your family/friends even if you're watching kdramas with them too like me.

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Unfortunately, this is a wish I've had for many years...but sadly, my friends and I don't have quite the same taste in dramas!

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aww, same. None of my friends are into Korean dramas. Its so awkward when I go with a group of friends and they all want to have a marathon of an American drama that ive never seen of heard of. Like, ares some people up to date with both, American and Korean dramas? Is that possible? Still though, I so wish I had a group of friends to watch Kdramas with all day.

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@ meimei,
About this, "I so wish I had a group of friends to watch Kdramas with all day." You and me both...

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The closest I've come to this was when a friend visited me many years ago in New York, for a long weekend or something. She was hooked into some novel, and I was deeply engrossed in a drama. Instead of needing me to take her around the city, she was totally content with sitting in my living room reading while I marathoned the drama to my heart's content. It was, to say the least, a strangely honest and perfect weekend.

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Ahahaha I just can't help lol-ing at this:
"My parents pester me for months to
come, I do, and then Mom and Dad go off pursuing their own interests while I’m in my room doing nothing.
I think they just like knowing I’m stuck at home."
I thought only my mom does that...and all these years I thought what's the purpose of asking us to come when we never really spend time together?

Flower boy next door had just finish airing on local TV, now its Will it snow for Christmas (my Go Soo...), Dream High. All snowy dramas. And I'm living in a tropical country. I have experienced snow in the states, and all I remember was falling on the slippery sidewalk on my way to school lol

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I don't think we're getting snow where I live before Christmas day. :( I work at the mall and I can see everyone doing their Christmas shopping and looking so happy enjoying their vacations while I'm working. Ugh, I guess I'll watch dramas again on Christmas this year. Me and my laptop, maybe some hot chocolate. Merry Christmas!

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Yoon Shi Yoon...... I miss him T.T

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I miss him a lot too. A thought for the men who are spending Christmas in the army: So not fun. :(

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That's exactly what I thought looking at this thread. Oh Yoon Shi Yoon....I want some of your unflappable cheer this xmas!

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I've been meaning to ask this since forever.

Is there a special meaning to first snow of the year in korea? K dramas always seem to make a big deal of it and I always get that asked by my friends...

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Aw, it's Enrique. I miss him.

Merry Christmas!

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"Christmas without dramas? What are you, a barbarian?!" LOL!

Merry Christmas Javabeans and Girlfriday and the rest of the Dramabeans Team! Thank you so much for a year full of kdrama news and recaps!!! You're a blessing for someone like me who looove Korean Dramas (and Korean actors, hee) but could not understand Hangul except for some short phrases like "picho so?" :-)

Well, it's a sweltering Christmas here Down Under but I still decorate my room with Santas in parka and sleds. Uh, now I'm thinking this is all so weird. But I think it is quite odd to have a santa in shorts who may decide to shave off his beard because of the heat, don't you think? Eww, that's gross.

Christmas should have some semblance of snow, I mean it should be chilly because it's the time to find someone who'd keep you warm, or give you a swoony back hug like what you see in all these winter kdramas. But in temperatures like this wherein lipsticks melt into a hapless goo? Nah, that attracts absolute zero romance. I guess it's really weird living in the southern hemisphere...

But still, I feel Christmassy today as my family is coming to visit me here! With them is a new batch of Kdramas packed in an external drive! Awesome! But Pinocchio is only up until ep 12, Awe..no...!!!

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Happy Holidays JB and GF!!

Where I live Christmas officially finish on the 7th of January so as you can see we have a very looong one. I don't mind Chritmas, although I don't really celebrate it, in my family New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are the important ones.

As for the dramas, I keep on my dramas not matter what the time of the year is but it's true that dramas do really well making snow seem really pretty and romantic, as we all have seen it in Pinocchio with PSH and LJS.

Anyway, Happy Holidays for all the dramabeans family!!!

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My Christmas plans,tell everyone, oh no,I can't make it, switch off my phone and enjoy the solitude. "
I may be allergic to people , phonys mostly.
I may decide to go shopping coz on D-day coz the sales prices will be low or I will wait till January where everyone is broke, so I can haggle over prices Muahaha.

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Christmas in Seoul? I arrive on Boxing Day and will be hanging around Daehangno/Hyehwa. Let's meet up for drinks!!!

However you celebrate the season, Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to everyone!!

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Happy Holidays to woori Dynamic Duo....
Thank you very kamsa for all your hardwork for this past year( and ALL the years before).
I will have a special Chrismas this year . I will not be with my Husband nor my kids since I will be spending it with my Mom who is recovering in the hospital. Part of me is sad but I'm also thankful- my understanding and patient Husband who's covering me for work( in additional to his) and let me concentrate in attending my Mom's needs. My kids who showed maturity by letting me know they can take care of themselves( I hope ?).My Mom who is doing her best and tries to put up a brave look while recovering.
So, to all my Beanie chingu's, have a wonderful Holidays. Don't fret about crazy Christmas shopping, whether you have bought enough or not. I think your recipients of your gifts will like whatever you've given them....may it be new clothes, toys or what not ... all it matters it's from you, with love. Happy Holidays...be safe?

And yes, I'm suffering from MiSaeng withdrawal, too?

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I can live without recaps around this holiday, because everyone deserves a break from their job and Dramabeans is definitely your job. I wouldn't want you to come to hate it!

About the giving and Christmas time, giving itself is really important so whether you do it just this time of year or you do it few times throughout the year, it's never a bad thing. People tend to think more about it at Christmas because they'll think about individuals or families who are not able to celebrate/enjoy it. Maybe they have no family, or maybe they have no money. In this country (US) it's easier to give money, but probably the more precious thing is giving time. I can tell you that when I give to someone, I'm not doing it because I want to feel good. It's because I want them to feel good. How sad that that gets mixed up with shame and guilt. That's not really the purpose or the point!

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Happy Holiday one and all , may Santa bring you every thing you wish for.

Mostly take the time to enjoy your family's.

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I'm in an interfaith marriage (he's Christian, I'm not), so we celebrate this weird Winter Holiday mash-up thing. ::laugh::

Plus, we have lots of family birthdays this week, so we just kind of roll with it. Cookies! Pie! Presents! Singing! :)

Happy Solstice (my holiday), Merry Christmas (his holiday), Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and other assorted holidays (we missed Buddha's birthday - wasn't that on the 8th of this month?) It's all good. :)

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i've been wondering about the romantic connect to christmas in korea as well. Apparently it's the same case in Japan, where christmas eve is a festival almost exclusively for couples. In both places christmas seems to be celebrated like valentines day, while valentines day itself has got attached to more material aspects- such as gifting chocolates.

I guess one reason could be that new gen non-christians who wish to relate to western culture or ideas have found a non-religious way to incorporate the festival into their lives, and I'm sure the market with its eye on lucrative sales had a role to play in popularizing it as well.

However that still doesn't explain why the festival got linked to romance in particular. So I hunted around for answers and got one that may somewhat explain the situation in japan at least:

"It was since Yuuming’s [singer Matsuyoya Yumi] song ‘My Lover Is Santa Clause’ that Christmas Eve became a day to spend with your lover. People became richer, […], hotels, who had their eye on this, offered loads of Christmas plans. […]. It was the natural flow of things that Christmas Eve then became thought of as a day you spend with your lover.’(IDii24さん)"
and
"it seems that even Yuuming’s song, that is played at this time every year, can be said to have played an important part in creating the image of Christmas as a time you spend with your lover."

So a question for those more familiar with S.Korea- was this song popular in S.Korea as well? Could the japanese take on the festival have influenced S.Korea? I'm assuming here (correct me if I'm wrong) that Japan was introduced to christmas before Korea, since Wikipedia says that the oldest christmas celebrated there is recorded as being in the Meiji period, and that the custom of spending Christmas Eve with the opposite sex had already become common by the early Showa period.

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Me too, I am not much of a festive season person and therefore not ready for everyone else to be either. It just makes me feel extra sad. Where did the time go? Seems like I just woke up and it's december. I'm from Australia and it's summer atm. I wonder what's it's like to have a snowy Christmas in a cold city. Not that we celebrate Christmas much. I just want it to be over and done with so the we can go back to normal. No crazy queues at the shops, no people on a mission on the roads, no more talks about christmas.

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i think an expat living in japan said christmas is celebrated by going out to eat fried chicken, or something weird like that...

for me, the xmas season brings on the guilt of whether or not to do osechi ryori (traditional japanese new year food) on jan 1st. 2-3 days of cooking/prep, fighting the crowd at the local asian market and seafood market...

while it's fun to have family and friends over all day for the japanese eatfest, i'm usually so exhausted that i just sit and drink sake while they eat....

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Sounds like what is done for Chinese New Year. It is a cookfest because lots of restaurants, shops and markets close for 2 days and it's actually hard to get a meal outdoors (whatever is open is crowded and prices go up). Fun for the eaters, no fun for the cooks (which I happily am not!). ;)

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I am in Wisconsin, USA with my honey to visit his family. Usually it snows here and I can tell you I do not find the cold romantic and there's a reason we moves to Georgua, USA where it rarely snows.

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I guess, snow looks and feels great when one is not the person shovelling it, clearing car windscreens, walking through slush or slipping on wet ice. I know I enjoyed it during my very short trip into Winter as a holiday guest, but my hands were freezing off in spite of gloves and I could see residents working hard to clear the snow.

After only viewing Winter from a distance, to feel snow softly falling and see it gather on everything and hear it crunch underfoot, was magical to a tropical person like me.

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Hehe I actually just finished re-marathoning White Christmas since its that time of year. Because I'm weird like that, it actually gives me warm and fuzzy feelings. We need more dramas like that.

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Where did you watch it? It's on none of my usual sites.

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The merriest of Christmas to all beanies. Wherever you are take care. Peace, joy, health, happiness and all the goodness i wish for this world. And may everyday be a happy ending for you beanies. No grouchypants, you. Just go with the flow.

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First, Merry and Happy everything to JB and GF - you have helped me make sense of my 2014 acquired obsession with Drama. I hope you are, and continue to be, doing work you love - and get well-compensated for it.

Second - same to all the beanies who contribute comments and observations that add to my understanding and enjoyment.

I'm an american Buddhist, so no escaping Christmas but it works for me as a family/friends appreciation holiday season.

I got a present this morning when my good friend who visited me this weekend and watched a Drama called on her way to work to yell at me that she was up until 1.30am to watch more episodes and it's my fault. I'm so happy.

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To me, Christmas eve means, pizza and watching "DIE HARD".
It's not Christmas untill i see Bruce Willis shove Alan Rickman off a tall building... I admit, i'm a grinch.
The next day however i spend my day cooking for my mom,5 sisters and assorted inlaws and kiddies and cat's..stuffing them all like a Turkey.
They can't move from all the food? mission succesfull :)

So merry Christmas al you stuffers and stuffed ones :)

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