Home for the Holidays: The Ugly Duckling

Hey Friends! I'm so excited - today we have Amelia from Ugly Duckling for Home for the Holidays. I love her blog, and she is such a sweetheart. Also, she just recently got engaged! So exciting, right?! So once you're done reading this post you can head on over and shower her with lots of love and congratulations. :)
Take it away, Amelia! 

Hello Lovelies! I'm Amelia and I write a blog called Ugly Duckling. I'm from England but for over two and a half years I've been living in Seoul in South Korea

When I first arrived in Seoul there wasn't much to be seen by way of Christmas. They do acknowledge it but it's not a major holiday for Koreans. The first Christmas I spent in Seoul I actually had to turn to Google to find out where I could go to get my Christmas light fix in Seoul!! Christmas as I know it wasn't here at all!

In the last couple of years it seems to be catching on though. Yay! This year I've seen Christmas trees and lights popping up in more and more places in the city. I even spotted Christmas decorations for sale in October, almost as bad as the shops in England! Everything in Korea happens fast, like someone is fast forwarding it. I'm pretty happy to report that the Koreans seem to be embracing the festive spirit very quickly too. 

Nevertheless, a Christmas away from friends, family and home comforts can still be hard. I'm lucky to be living in Korea with my fiancee, Steve (we just got engaged four days ago, eeeek!) and together we have begun to develop our own little Christmas traditions.

A few days before Christmas we like to visit a stream (called Cheonggyecheon) that runs through the centre of the city. There's lights all the way along it and a big Christmas tree, it's a great way to get excited for Christmas day!


On Christmas morning we open our gifts and start the eating (let's face it, a big part of Christmas is about the food or is that just me??) with smoked salmon, cracked black pepper and lemon on wholemeal bread; a tradition I've taken from home. Of course since it's Christmas (as good of an excuse as any right?!) that's accompanied with a bottle of bubbly. Unfortunately there isn't a turkey to be found in the city and certainly no Christmas trimmings. So instead of cooking our own Christmas dinner we visit a hotel nearby our place that offers a 'festive' menu and has gorgeous decorations to help the festive spirit. Hotels in Seoul are one of the few places that do go all out at Christmas!
Starting the day with a few traditions from home - Smoked salmon, After Eights and Champagne.
Hotel holiday decorations!
Not the traditional Christmas pudding!!
After Christmas lunch we wind down the day by watching a movie and having a bit of a Friends marathon (don't you just love Friends?) in our pyjamas. I also make Steve play board games with me. Honestly, I'm such a big kid!


By the time Boxing Day rolls around I'm ready for some exercise and fresh air. We like to wrap up as snug as possible (winter here is always well into the minus figures!) and go for a walk.
All in all we have a fantastic Christmas but this year I'm happily going to be celebrating once again at home in England! I'm here for a holiday and will get to do all the good old British stuff again, I'm pretty excited as you can imagine!

Wherever you are in the world I hope you have a Merry Christmas and I wish you all a very happy New Year!