Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Top Ten L.A. Korean-American Christmas Traditions/Mash-Ups/Memories When You’re Growing Up Henri

10. “Aren’t you too old for Christmas?”
Growing up, my mother had this constant sneaking suspicion that I was conning her into celebrating Christmas even though I was older than 10. Since most American cultural events had to be filtered by me to my parents, I was the cultural gatekeeper. My mother could not stop comparing Christmas with Halloween and insisted that it was a children’s holiday.

9. “Merry Christmas, here’s some cash”
In my family you get cash. Period. For everything. Happy birthday cash, Merry Christmas Cash, Look its raining Cash, Haha that was a funny joke you just told here’s some cash, You got a B+? NOEFFINGCASH. Oh and then there were the SATs which was more of an over/under thing. Over 1400 you get a car. Under 1400 you get to take the SAT again. Hahaha good times…good times. I took the SAT 10 times. I Drive a Ferrari Helicopter.

8. “Plastic Tree is same”
Oh I love that phrase. Makes me know it’s Christmas.

7. “More Golf Balls”
The only thing my father ever wanted for Christmas was more golf balls. And so we made him happy by buying him more Golf Balls. Every Christmas photo he is holding Golf Balls. This year I am buying him 300 boxes of Golf Balls. One day he’ll break. One day damnit.

6. “It’s called Egg Nog”
Dairy + Eggs + Sugar + Sugar + Sugar = Not-A-Happy-Korean-Parent

5. “Santa Who?”
I had to tell my parents about Santa. They called bullshit on that in like 3 seconds.

4. “No”
Can we go see real snow? Damn. Korea is cold. My parent love L.A. for many reasons. Number one reason: No F-ing Snow.

3. “So do you need a Birthday present too?”
Yeah, I was born right after Christmas. Same old argument year after year. The net value of two presents always exceeds the value of one present of equal total value. You have to factor in the pleasure of unwrapping the cash twice rather than once.

2. “Chivas! Chivas! Chivas!”
Oh those beautiful silver boxes stacked high to the ceiling! We would build forts out of them like igloos. Chivas Regal owes the Los Angeles Korean Community an annual parade.

1. “Turkey + Kochujang”
No description necessary.


Robyn said...

oh, i had to read this stuff aloud to my husband! too funny, esp. the SATs.
educational too--I didn't know about Koreans and Chivas. what's that about?

Henri said...

1) Koreans:Chivas Regal::

A) MetroDad:Yankees
B) Daddy In A Strange Land:Racism
C) Soccer Dad:Zidane
D) Chinese:Hennessy

Answer: D

honglien123 said...

Dude, I thought egg nog made parents unhappy because it usually has booze in it...ugh, Chinese:Hennessy? Wherever the Chinese go, the Vietnamese go, I was friggin forced to serve Hennessy instead of champagne at my wedding.

InstantYang said...

This is the funniest thing I've read here in a while, dude. Well, given that we've been talking about James Kim a lot, maybe that's not saying so much. But funny as hell, anyway.

As for your little SAT (Stereotypical Asian Test) item there, there's a whole cluster of brown goods favored by AZN pholkz--Remy Martin, Chivas, Hennessy--but the one that's most distinctively Chinese is probably Johnnie Walker Red, if only because it kinda sucks, but we drink it because, you know, it's red. And if it's red, we'll eat it, drink it, wear it, and roll around in it like pigs in slop.

Also, after Chinese drink any of this stuff, they turn red. Sort of a bonus "prosperity and good fortune" thing there.

Only with bedspins.

Mama Nabi said...

Ah... Chivas... hey, don't knock Chivas. Turkey and kojujang doesn't sound that bad either. Yep, my mom told me I was too old for Christmas when I was 4. Now that I'm older, I kinda miss the cash instead of gifts thing. So, you're saying your parents wouldn't accept an invitation from me to come to Minnesota for Christmas...?

Soccer Dad said...

Zidane? No way! Eto'o, Messi, or 'Dinho. Never the follicle-deficient headbutter.

But yeah. Funny stuff. "Plastic is same." Awesome.

daddy in a strange land said...

Heh. Analogies. Cool.

MetroDad said...


I say this with no irony whatsoever.

I fucking love you, man!

Henri said...

Of course you love me. I am your Tyler Durden. Don't you remember when we met...it was during that really really stressful week. I mean c'mon you really think there are two Korean guys with French first names?

Anonymous said...

no one mentioned crown royal?!

angie in texas

Anonymous said...

For my Indian father in law Xmas = Black Label Johnny Walker. And cash? So Indian too.

Nina said...

I'm with Angie...it's the Crown Royal that I see everywhere.

Henri said...

Chivas = Old School 1980's
Crown Royal = 1990 - present