Embracing all her Christmas firsts

We all have traditions that we enjoy and look forward to each year. But what happens when the traditions that were part of your life change because you move to a country with different one.
How easily could you embrace the changes?
My future daughter-in-law, who grew up in Seoul, Korea, just experienced her first Canadian Christmas.
It is estimated that 30 percent of Koreans are Christians and Christmas has become a holiday in that country. Yet the celebration is mostly religious, with Koreans attending worship services on Christmas Day.
Gifts only are offered to very young children.
Marnie and I had sent Christmas gifts to Meesun and Adam when they lived in Paju, Korea. For Meesun, the gifts were unexpected.
She could only anticipate her first Canadian Christmas.
We have been blessed this holiday season with picture postcard landscapes, where the snow has bonded to the trees, creating white fingertips into the air and loading the branches of our evergreens with white blankets.
As our family drove up and down the streets of town looking at all of outdoor lights, I would stop the vehicle and Meesun would dart out, run up onto lawns, and take pictures of the decorations.
For her, capturing the home decorations on camera confirmed what she only had seen in movies.
When she walked into our home early on Christmas Eve, and looked at the Christmas tree lit with more than 1,000 lights, she wondered what the odour was. Adam explained that it was the smell of a fresh tree in the home.
She had never seen a Christmas tree indoors before. It was the first of many new experiences.
We all take turkey, stuffing, Christmas cake, plum pudding, and special Christmas baking for granted. But all were new tastes to Meesun.
She had never had roasted turkey before, or stuffing, or Christmas plum pudding, or most of the salads that filled the dinner table on Christmas night.
She also was overwhelmed by the exchange of gifts. I will admit that gifts spilled out from under the tree into our living room. Marnie had made a new stocking for Meesun that was loaded with fun items.
There were other firsts. The snow crunched under Meesun’s boots as she walked along the sidewalks. She experienced walking on the ice at the lake and she made a snow angel.
And everything she did or saw, she took pictures and sent them to her parents in Paju.
It is difficult to leave home and travel to a new country with different customs, language, and foods. But Meesun has embraced it all and is excited to be starting a new life in Canada with our son.
We are excited that she has become part of our family.

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