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Improving the Lives of Korean Youth Through Outreach and Education

12 Days of KKOOM – #4) Christmas traditions

We asked one of our Board members to contribute to a “12 Days of KKOOM” blog post. Here is some reflections from Board member Bill Downey who is currently in South korea.

I am back in Korea for my third Christmas party in four years of visiting Samsungwon orphanage as a KKOOM member!  This is also my fourth trip to Korea this year.  That is a lot of going through security check-ins, sitting at gates, riding to and from airports and checking in and out of temporary places to stay!

Traveling during the holidays is a stressful ritual many of us endure.   Typically, it is for keeping with family traditions that send us into the travel fray, whether it be getting to multi-generational events or taking the family skiing.  There is reassurance and validation in our consistency in observing annual events, what become our traditions.  We often go to great lengths to get there!

This year, I simply do not have enough vacation time to do all the things I would like to do.  As a result, my holiday visit to Korea will not only be short but will also prevent me from participating in what have become over the past few years, traditions, or being consistent.

I have never had children but I like to think that when the kids see me, it is not only good for them to see that I come back consistently and predictably, but that they are important in the lives of others.  It is this consistency, sometimes difficult to do, that forms the traditions in all of our lives.  Ultimately, I felt being there for some of the things I have done the past few years was still important and was better than not coming at all.

These events will hopefully be good memories for our kids and be the foundation for their holiday traditions as they go out and become adults and have their own families.

Our holiday traditions reflect the importance of love, togetherness, and generosity and if we can share those values with these kids, it has been a pretty good holiday!

Your contributions help us do these important activities!  Peace and the joys of the season to all!


Bill Downey, KKOOM Board Member

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