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 walks by faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. Amidst her frequent bouts of laughter, tears, and adventures in nature, she is constantly learning, growing, pondering, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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