It’s not just about December 25th.

Christmas starts a month or two beforehand, or at the very least, in the first week of December.

Christmas is hearing the songs you’ve heard every year since you were born, over and over again until you can’t think of anything else.

Christmas is seeing the lights twinkling every time you go into town.

Christmas is sitting in Starbucks with a friend, drinking Gingerbread Lattes and eating cinnamon cookies.

Christmas is visiting the Christmas market and drinking mulled wine, or whatever they call it in your part of the world.

Christmas is enjoying a Bailey’s on ice with your best friend in front of a roaring log fire in a local pub.

Christmas is listening to little kids learning to sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Christmas is sitting in your parents’ living room watching The Snowman with The Sister and a box of Quality Street.

Christmas is getting thrown out of a local pub for singing Fairytale of New York too loudly whilst draped in tinsel.

Christmas is a carol service in an echoing, candlelit church.

Christmas is giving what you can to that homeless guy outside the subway station.

Christmas is watching your Granda make his novelty slippers do a happy dance to the tune of a Slade song.

Christmas is helping tiny little children to write letters to Santa on decorated stocking-shaped cards.

Christmas is sitting in a karaoke room singing Last Christmas and Oh, Holy Night with your friends.

Christmas is walking home in the snow.

Christmas is not just about December 25th. It’s a whole season, and for the first time in three years, I am travelling home to spend it with my family (and Kat the Cat). I’ve had to mostly bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut about it here in Korea, since I know that all my friends would love to be going home for Christmas, and I’m trying not to make them sad by rubbing their noses in the fact that I am*. All I want to do, however, is shriek in a girlish, high-pitched squeal: I’m coming home for Christmas!

See you soon. :)

[*The one friend in Korea who does faithfully read this blog will have to bear with me through the excitement… you know I would love for you to be coming, too!]