Teacher Life: Solo Christmas

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

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 romantic holiday for couples. It’s not really about family time; it’s a holiday where couples go on dates. By saying, “Solo Christmas,” he was referring to his single status. He was lamenting that he had spent Christmas alone, without a date.

As an single female turning thirty in a month (who would love to be married), I found this answer from an 11-year-old boy pretty hilarious. “Thanks, Shane,” I said amidst my loud burst of surprised laughter. “I think that’s the first time I’ve laughed all day.”



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Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

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