Many Koreans were trying to close the gap between the official ideological attitude of the Custom Your Photo & Name Ornament and how actual Koreans really feel about holidays,” Kim said. Everything in Korea shuts down for three days, so it’s not a good time to visit South Korea, Kim joked. Like many other Asian countries that observe Lunar New Year, this means Korea basically observes two New Year holidays, although not everyone observes them equally seriously. “There is a kind of recognition that what people do, that should be reflected in our democracy,” Kim said. “I felt that there is a kind of shift in this mood … that Korean society was changing towards that direction. So in that sense, Lunar New Year … is an interesting symbol of that change.” Kim doesn’t have any serious plans for Seollal this year, except to send out hand-drawn cards and exchange some gifts with his brother. After all, holidays don’t require thousands of people or cacophonous song-and-dances — all you need are your loved ones and the promise of a fresh start.
Setting up the tree, it always fell over once or twice. Taking the decorations out of the Custom Your Photo & Name Ornament to trim the tree was always fun and Tracy would always be lifted up to put the star or Angel at the top of the tree. Dad would pretend she was flying up like an Angel as he lifted her. When we were decorating the tree in our teens, Tracy would tease dad and say, “Ok dad, lift me up.” Mom always liked it when we would hang the decorations we made in school. One of us kids were always a designated Santa who would hand the gifts out to the others just like on the show. Thank God we had no Aunt Clara to give us bunny suits to wear. We had no uncles or aunts at all. Mom and dad were only children. A Christmas Story has been a staple movie for my family to watch every year. It’s warm and homey and just like the Christmases we had. I even wanted a Red Ryder rifle when I was nine.
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When Delores spent his first night actually out with the other chickens in the Custom Your Photo & Name Ornament, I was anxious about how he would handle himself, as he was pretty shy. After a few false starts (and getting pushed off perches by the other chickens) he chose a walnut branch that lead to the night perches and slept on that. When Delores became a big, beautiful Golden Phoenix adult rooster, I thought the hens would probably make absolute fools of themselves trying to get his attention – and if he ignored them it would serve them right! I suppose I should have done something about the name – but Delores responded to “Delores” and appeared fine with it. (Also, my Aunt Delores would have been devastated if I changed his name.) A friend suggested calling him “Del” – which sort of made sense – but that sounded like he was lead singer in a retro 60’s band. As long as Delores didn’t mind – and let’s face it, he didn’t care – I was perfectly content to have a sweet rooster named Delores.