Getting Ready for the Holiday Season

With the recent snow and cold weather in Seoul, it was only natural for us to start decorating Habib House for the holiday season.  As many of you know, our residence at Habib House is built in the traditional Korean style.  It was interesting decorating for Christmas inside the framework of this beautiful home.  Every day I enjoy seeing the two regal "Haitai", or tiger sculptures, in their Christmas regalia.

Two Haitais in their Christmas regalia

So here is our Christmas tree that brightens up our residence!  Thanks to Robyn and the residence staff, we were able to add lights and ornaments to the tree, plus a few ornaments that we brought from the States which have special meaning to us.  Also, we learned the hard way last year that we cannot put popcorn strings near the bottom because somebody (Grigsby) will eat them!

This is our Christmas tree!

I also love to walk past the Seoul City Hall Christmas tree to get in the holiday spirit.  The snow helps, although poor Grigsby is so close to the ground his belly was a little cold at times!  It is tough to have short legs in the snow and cold.

A family photo in front of Seoul City Hall Christmas tree

During this season, Americans often think of their families.  Recently I was remembering our family’s holiday meals growing up.  My mom was way ahead of her time and was health conscious and into working out before it was popular.  She would run eight miles a day and prepare nutritious food for us (with no butter or cream - low fat) in the 1970s and 80s when I was growing up.  She also inspired me to take up running.  But after eating her healthy food for the holidays, instead of eating leftovers some members of my family (primarily me!) would sneak out the day after Christmas to Skyline Chili for some traditional Cincinnati chili and a cheese coney.  Cincinnati chili is very famous in my hometown and has its origins in Greece.  It consists of a bed of spaghetti, topped by their famous chili (which is quite sweet), cheese, and then onions and/or beans.  Cincinnati chili is delicious. 

Cincinnati chili and cheese coney

I will miss my mother and the rest of my family this year during the holiday season.  Hopefully some of our family members will visit Korea soon when Baby Lippert makes an appearance in the New Year.

It can be hard to be apart from your family during special holidays. Robyn and I had one Christmas we spent apart when I was in Iraq, and my thoughts go out to all of those serving overseas, both Koreans and Americans, who will be on their own for the holidays.  For those who are deployed, studying in another country or living abroad, but can't make it home, wherever that is, we hope you can make merry with those around you.

Grigsby is also missing his friends from the dog park in Washington, D.C., but is keeping in touch with them on social media.

Grigsby and friends

Best wishes to all of you this holiday season and please stay warm!


  1. Mr. Ambassador: If you're missing a good dog hot dog with chili, I recommend "Charlie's" in Hannam, just down the road from Itaewon Boutique Hotel. You can get a chili dog with wine. Real classy!

  2. Nice! Great tip. I'm assuming it's a "normal" chili dog - not a Cincinnati style coney. Either way, I love a good chili dog or coney. I'll give it try w some vino. Thanks for the info!!!

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