Expat Christmas in Korea | Arielle from Soju4Two

Next up in my series on how some of my favourite expat bloggers and Youtubers celebrate Christmas here in Korea is the wonderful Arielle from Soju4Two! She also featured in my top 5 Seoul Instagrammers post back in June, and I get a lot of inspiration from her for weekend outings and café trips! Find out how the life and party of my Instagram feed (she is serious goals, and a wonderful person in real life too!) spends Christmas here in Seoul.

 Hello! Please introduce yourself, and tell us how you found yourself in Korea!

Hello! I’m Arielle and I have officially been in Korea for 6 years. I’ve been teaching English and traveling every chance I get. I moved to Korea from NYC, to be an ESL teacher for a year, but the plans changed as I fell in love with Seoul! I have been making YouTube videos about Korea for the past 7 years and Instagraming for the last year. Check out my channels for some amazing places in Korea.

soju4two Hannah International

How do you usually celebrate Christmas ‘back home’?
My big family does Christmas well. For me, that means all the best foods and lots of family time. It’s been two years since I’ve had Christmas at home. NYC and Pennsylvania, where my family lives now, are absolutely the most beautiful at Christmas. I live for the twinkle lights and cozy hot chocolates.
soju4two Hannah International
What 3 things do you miss the most about Christmas at home?
1. My mother’s Caesar salad is a religious experience. She makes it from scratch and it takes over three hours to prepare. It involves a wooden bowl that she meticulously rubs garlic into for an hour. My siblings and I always fight over who gets to taste test it. In the end, we all win!

2. My sister and I have a tradition of shopping on Christmas Eve. When we were in high school, we’d have our mom drop us off at the mall for a day and we’d get all the shopping done. Needless to say, it stuck. Now that my sister has a toddler we don’t do full days anymore, but we always make a Christmas Eve trip to see what goodies we can find.

3. Our last tradition is heading to a local family run orchard and farm that puts on a holiday light show. It’s always magical with all the lights and snow that we get. It’s perfect to grab a hot chocolate at the entrance and wander around for hours.

How do you normally spend Christmas in Korea?

After 6 years here, I’ve spent Christmas a few different ways. One year I had a pizza party with all my friends, not the most Christmassy dinner possible but it was so much fun. I’ve had other years that I’ve skipped Christmas dinner all togetherand headed straight to the clubs. This may seem crazy, but Christmas, in Korea, isn’t so much about family as it is couples. Prepare for couples grabbing cakes and heading to cafes. Also, I have a bit of a tradition for the past few years of heading to the movies on Christmas. Since everything is open, I take advantage of less crowed movie theaters.

soju4two Hannah International

What are your favourite things to do during the Christmas season here in Korea?

I recommend heading to the Foreign Christmas Market, at Hansung University Station, for some international holiday foods and hot chocolate. It’s not a winter market like you might be used to back home, but it will get you in the holiday spirit. I also recommend heading to the holiday light shows at Ilsan Lake in Goyang city or The Garden of the Morning Calm in Gapyeong. They are definitely worth a long subway ride. If you’re looking for a holiday shopping experience, the Shinsegae in Myeong-dong does holiday lights really well. I also always make it a point to head out to some of the amazing ski resorts in Gangwondo. With the Olympics coming you should make a stop, too! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

You can find Arielle on her YouTube channel Soju4Two and Instagram account @soju4two, where she shares all the best spots in Seoul and across South Korea.

Read the rest of my Very Korean Blogmas 2017 posts here!

One response to “Expat Christmas in Korea | Arielle from Soju4Two”

  1. katie says:

    haha well i’ve definitely never heard of caeser salad being eaten as a christmas dish before! always so interesting to see how other people celebrate festive season and what differences they have to mine! we’re ALL about the mulled wine and mince pies in my house…no room for salads haha!

    would love to visit korea, has been on my bucket list for a while now! lovely guest post. 🙂

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com ♥

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