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Far from home but not far from holiday fun

Christmas, while a federal holiday in Korea, is not celebrated quite the same way here as it is often celebrated by many coming from Western countries. For some expats, particularly those who might be living in a foreign country for the very first time, the thought of experiencing the holiday alone and far from home brings with it a lot of anxiety.  

But, just because folks are not going to be home for the holidays does not mean they won't be able to have a great holiday. There are several events happening this month that are sure to bring holiday cheer. 

■ International Community Fair Christmas Edition (Dec. 9), Gorilla Brewing Co., Gwangan

Plenty of folks were out for the previous fair.

The Gwangan International Community Fair returns for its fifth event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Gorilla Brewing Company in Gwangan. This month, it's their "Christmas Edition." In addition to a suite of local sellers, both returning vendors and new entries, Christmas carol singers will be on hand for some festive cheer. Plus, Santa Claus! As always, the event is hosted by the non-profit We-Hope Busan charitable organization. 

-How to get there: Geumnyeonsan Station (Metro line 2), exit 1. Turn around and turn left down the cobblestone road toward the beach. Turn left at Gwangnam-ro and walk straight about five minutes. Gorilla Brewing Company is on the left.

-Information: "GICF2018" on Facebook

■ Christmas at Soyang (Dec. 15) Soyang Children's Home, Gadeokdo Island

Have fun and spread some holiday cheer to the children of Soyang Children's Home at the annual Busan Children's Homes Volunteering Christmas Party.

BCHV visits the orphanage, located on Gadeokdo Island in southwestern Busan, every month. However, its Christmas event is always something a bit more special. Volunteers will be distributing donated Christmas gifts to each child and will also have a number of special activities planned for the kids. A meal is provided by the orphanage for all volunteers.

All are welcome and encouraged to come out and have fun with the kids! Volunteers need to let organizers know they will be attending by Thursday, Dec. 13. First time volunteers in particular need to message events organizer Aaron Ackerman either through Facebook ("Busan Children's Homes Volunteering"), KakaoTalk ("KChanYang") or by phone at 010-5194-9399. Korean language skills are helpful but not necessary. If you cannot attend the Christmas party but want to purchase a gift for one of the kids, check the gift drive Google form on the BCHV Facebook page to see if slots are still available.

Meet outside Hadan Station (Metro line 1), exit 3, by 10:40 a.m. Volunteers will board bus 2,000 at 11 a.m. The bus will leave at 11:10 a.m. sharp. This bus only runs every 30 minutes so volunteers must be timely. 

See Dynamic Busan's interview with a Busan Children's Homes Volunteering member on page 7 of this month's issue!

-Information: "Busan Children's Homes Volunteering" on Facebook

■ British Society of Busan Christmas Fundraiser (Dec. 15), Gorilla Brewing Co., Gwangan

Attendees at the first BBS Christmas event. 

The British Society of Busan is back for its second-annual Busan British Society Christmas Fundraiser, set for 4 to 8 p.m., Dec. 15 at Gorilla Brewing Company in Gwangan. 

Complimentary mulled wine, Christmas bites, performances, a special Christmas Fair for some last minute shopping, networking, music, a Christmas raffle and much more will be on tap. The event raises money for various Busan charities, which is why entrance is free. Dig deep and spend all your money on raffle tickets! This event is family friendly and everyone is invited. You don't even need to be British in order to participate!

There are a limited number of spaces available for this free event so pre-registration is required. Walk-ins on the day of the event will not be accepted.

-Information: "Busan British Society" on Facebook

■ Christmas Dinner Buffet (Dec. 25) United Seamen's Service, Gamman-dong

An annual treat for both American military members at sea and for the hungry general public. This lunch and dinner buffet features a wealth of totally tasty and nostalgic holiday favorites like ham, roast beef, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, pies and a whole lot more. Reservations are required.

-Price: 34,000 won ($29.60) for adults; 20,000 won ($17.40) for children ages seven to 12; free for children ages six and under

-Information: 051-646-1993,