The part I like the best is everyone singing Adeste Fideles
in Latin. It's my favorite Christmas carol.
I heard this Christmas truce mentioned by a secular radio program yesterday and he said nothing about the singing.
Interesting, eh? Cut out the religion!! (Even on Christmas. Ugh.)
Now it's MY turn to share!
Today I went to a fast food restaurant after Mass
and I saw the same group of Korean men and ladies that shows up Sundays there
As they passed our table single-file, they eagerly greeted us with "Merry Christmas!"
The ladies had red sweaters and men red ties
I thought, these guys have noticed we're Christian
Probably because we make the sign of the cross before meals!
Anyway, I asked one of them,
"How do you say Merry Christmas in Korean?"
He tried to ignore the question.
But I insisted.
Eventually he hesitatingly said, "It is difficult."
I assured him I wanted to know anyway.
He leaned over and seemed embarrassed to say this...
Sung - tan - uul - chuka - Gambnida
To show him I was listening, I repeated it.
He was amazed, and smiled broadly.
He walked away saying "Merry Christmas"
And I answered him with "Sung - tan - uul - chuka - Gambnida!"
Then as soon as he was gone, I promptly forgot what he had taught me.
Later, the group of Koreans were still there, talking in their group,
And so I went up to them and apologized for not remembering,
But I begged them to tell me again, and this time I wrote it down.
After they were finished explaining that they like to say "Merry Christmas"
I told them, "Sung - tan - uul - chuka - Gambnida!"
And they all nodded, smiled and chattered in Korean to each other.
It really made them happy.
In fact, it was so much fun to do this, that after a while later
during which time I had helped a friend with a car problem
in the parking lot,
the Korean men were still sitting at their round table
and their ladies were seated at theirs.
I know that Koreans are extremely formal with interaction with others
and therefore I would not have approached the women's table
and I only spoke to the men -- which they liked to see, I could tell.
Therefore I walked up to their round table, pulled my note pad out
and said to them, "Sung - tan - uul - chuka - Gambnida!"
They all smiled, nodded energetically, and repeated the words,
Adding of course, "Merry Christmas" in their irrepressible and charming accent.
That was a lot of fun.