Solo Christmas

Today, like every day, I asked my students, “How are you today?”

Although yesterday was Christmas, no one said a word about that. They gave their usual answers: “Happy,” “Hungry,” “Tired and happy,” “Very, very, very, very happy,” and “Angry.” Except one boy. One rambunctious eleven-year-old who occasionally has streaks of uncontrollable laughter that turn his face red.

He answered, “Solo Christmas…” with a jerk of his head that suggested dissatisfaction.

“Solo, Christmas..?” I repeated.

Then it hit me what he meant. In Korea, Christmas is generally celebrated as a date night. It’s not really about family time; it’s a holiday for couples. He was referring to his single status.

As an unmarried female who is turning thirty in a month, I found that answer unreasonably hilarious.

“Thanks, Shane,” I said amidst my loud burst of laughter. “I think that’s the first time I’ve laughed all day.”

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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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