Monday morning, my kids asked me where Santa goes first on Christmas Eve. I walked to the map on my wall and told them, "well, he lives up here, so..." then I pointed to Russia, then China, then Korea. "Korea is third?" they asked. Umm...yes? "I don't know," I said. "Let's write to him and ask."
I passed out recycled paper and plunked the crayon baskets on the tables. I wrote Dear Santa on the board.
"We will write in English?" they asked.
And that was when I had to explain that Santa speaks English too. And every other language, because he goes all over the world. And then I had to explain that he stops time...
Anyway, these were the letters I came home with:
So. Obviously, I had to write back. I bought a bunch of red paper and wrote to each kid,
메리 크리스마스, which says Merry Christmas in Hangeul on the front. Inside their letters were variations on, I live in the North Pole with my friend Rudolph. This year, we will come to Korea first. Your present is safe with me, but it is a secret.
When they read them this morning, they pointed to Santa's (my) signature in awe, and told me again and again, "he's coming to Korea first!"
Later, we watched a magician/puppet show, and then Santa Hariboji came! Korea's version of Santa is a stooped old man who makes kids accept gifts politely with two hands and then bow. Unfortunately, he picked my crier to tease, and his white polyester curls hung in ridiculous curtains over his eyes and under his mouth. Way to ruin the magic, Santa Hariboji.