- Holiday bonus episode part 2 – Surviving the holiday chaos
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Kate: Welcome to model minority moms, where we talk about the complicated meaning of success in career, family and life.
Kate: I’m Kate Wong,
Susan: Jeanette park, and Susan.
Kate: Harvard classmates and Asian-American working moms to Little’s who get real about the pressures of fitting in while standing out.
Susan: Hey, it’s everyone’s favorite or not. So favorite time of year, we’re doing a bonus episode talking about the holidays and how to get through them and what we should, and shouldn’t give to our family. First I want to find out what are you all doing for the holidays?
Susan: I’m going to go with my siblings to Tahoe from Seattle, and we have this five day sleep over every year called extreme indulgence where we like duke it out, like try to compete to make the best dinner. The winner gets her name on the trophy. And it’s just a collection of a whole bunch of kids hanging out.
Susan: And now adults just like sleeping on the couch. [00:01:00] What, what are you guys doing?
Kate: Wow, my holiday sounds so tame am
Kate: In Seattle.
Kate: They’re coming, we don’t celebrate Christmas. So they actually arriving the week before Christmas and then leaving Christmas day.
Kate: And then I get the potty.
Kate: Yeah, exactly. Same reason why I’ll be all the first gen immigrants, you know, do the hospital shifts on Christmas day.
Kate: Right. Anyway. And then I’m going to be potty training my daughter right after Christmas. Cause she’s on holiday break from school. So that’s my, those are my exciting holiday plans.
Jeanette: , so we went to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. And we did like an extended stay this year.
Jeanette: So Christmas will be at home. And then the day after Christmas, we’re flying to LA to see my brother and his wife and twin boys. And then we’ll fly back on new year’s day also flying on the holiday because yeah, apparently my husband said that. The flights were like ridiculously [00:02:00] expensive the other day.
Jeanette: So we’re flying back on new year’s day, but you know, we’ll do kind of like more Christmas gifts and stuff when we’re with my brother and his family.
Susan: Okay. Wait, can I tell you I’m like a sick aunt? I think my definition of sick is much different than you. Definitely just like, I I’m having a debate right now about gifts for my, my nephew.
Susan: Okay. One of my nephews, I started with college 5 29 account for him. And like telling someone that I’m investing in your future is like, not debt that does not make me the cool aunt at all. How old is he? He’s like, I don’t know, 13 or 14. So here’s the question I was thinking he has a, he also has an unfortunate birthday in December.
Susan: So it’s like, you know, your birthday present and your kids. What do you think is better? Would you like, I’m going to tell him, do you want auntie Susan to give you a hundred dollars cash for both of those things? I’ll give you 250. In your 5 29 account, that’s like so [00:03:00] terrible or is it like brilliant?
Kate: No. Why is that
Kate: terrible? I wish somebody had given me those choices. Right. Because I think it’s a good opportunity to start. He’s what, 13?
Susan: Yeah. 14. I think it’s 14.
Kate: Maybe it’s a little bit young, but like I wish somebody had told me about compound interest and like, you know, costs like these are practical things that I feel like teenagers should start learning.
Kate: I mean, it, ultimately the choice is his right. But if you take the opportunity to explain, I mean, I don’t think that’s sick. I think it’s kind of awesome.
Susan: I, I know, but all the other aunts are like, so like, it’s just like, there’s no choice, you know, they just give them cool stuff, like,
Jeanette: But it’s also just, it’s not just delayed gratification for him, but it’s actually, I feel like it’s delayed gratification for you because. You know, you’re not, you might not get the, oh, you know, thank you for this very cool gift, auntie Susan, right now. But I do feel like it’s something that [00:04:00] he will
Jeanette: appreciate, even if he chooses a hundred dollars.
Jeanette: Right. Just like the fact that somebody gave him a choice and then like started got him thinking about what does it mean to save? What does it mean? Yeah. Compound interest and all of this stuff. Just exposing him to those ideas. , he’s gonna remember that. You know, when he’s like in his twenties and thirties so I, I feel like, yeah, it’s like delayed gratification for you to,
Susan: I set up the 5 29 account, I think maybe two years ago I’ve been looking, I figured out what the earnings were, year over year growth told all the other aunties and uncles, and I gave everyone the choice. I can just do the advocating, but it’s just like, he’s now into like deejaying and building computers. And like, I don’t know, maybe he’s building his own Bitcoin or something and I’m just like, I feel so out of touch with him when I’m just like, Hey, let’s invest in your future.
Susan: I just, there’s so many toys everywhere. These kids have everything and I just don’t, I just don’t want to contribute to more [00:05:00] stuff, but that makes me feel like I’m less cool.
Jeanette: Yeah. It’s hard. I think with Isaiah. Okay. Don’t judge me. So he’s been asking like, how many presents do I. So I told him we’ll get him four presents, which to me sounds like a lot because, and maybe had
Kate: to arrive at that number four is very specific
Susan: because he’s going to turn four.
Jeanette: Yeah. I think it’s also just I had a sense of the things that he would want, the big things that he would want. And they kind of were somewhere around four. Maybe it was like five or six, but I kind of wanted to give him some constraints. Right. Because he’s too young to understand.
Jeanette: The idea of budgets or , you know, adding up the cost of something to reach a bigger number. But he understands like, okay, I can choose for things. Like, I might want five things, but I can only choose four things. Right. So I think we’re trying to slowly introduce the idea of trade-offs and [00:06:00] constraints.
Jeanette: And sometimes, you know, you have to make choices. And so, so that’s how we arrived at four, but to me, , it feels like a lot because you know, like I’ve shared in past episodes. My family was pretty poor growing up, so I don’t even really remember this. I mean, it sounds sad, but like, I don’t actually remember any of the gifts that I got growing up for Christmas.
Jeanette: Like I don’t really remember getting, I definitely didn’t get lots of gifts. And I think like some Christmases, I might not even have gotten like anything of note he knows. So to me, like it, there’s this feeling of discomfort, like, oh my gosh, for like, oh, this is going to be too much. And I’m already bracing myself because my son has done this before, too, where he’s going to open all his presence, so many presents, and then he’s going to be like, what else is there?
Jeanette: You know? And a part of me is just going to want to be angry. But I was talking to my husband about. And I’m trying to accept that [00:07:00] as normal. Right. It’s doesn’t mean that he’s spoiled. It’s just a natural, human, inclination, like we always want more. Right. So it’s like, okay.
Jeanette: I opened these presents.
Jeanette: Like if they’re more and and as he gets older, hopefully we can teach him about like showing appreciation, but, but you know, he’s three still. So yeah. Anyways, that’s how we’re thinking about Christmas
Jeanette: presents for my son.
Susan: I’m not judging you at all. I was just at the sandpit with another daycare parent and they’re like, so are you getting art presents
Susan: and I was like, I was like, I don’t know. I said, I don’t know, because he’s still so young that he doesn’t really know what’s going on. And I was trying to convince Marvin and I was like, I think he deserves. Shovel and pail and Marvin was like, oh no, sand’s so dirty. I hate the concept of sand. And I was like, guess maybe we’re not going to get a mini.
Susan: I mean, I don’t know. It’s like, does he even know what’s going on last year? We just wrapped empty boxes, [00:08:00] but he didn’t even open. He didn’t, he was too young, but
Jeanette: I don’t think they really understand what’s going on until they’re about two and a half or three. I mean, for my daughter, Ruth, you know, who is going to be 15 months for christmas, like the only reason we’re getting her presents is because she sees her older brother getting things.
Jeanette: And now she’s like she wants everything. Her older brother has. No. So I definitely know she’s going to notice if Isaiah gets a bunch of gifts, she doesn’t get anything. Right. But, when Isaiah was the only child in our house, he didn’t know what’s going on. I don’t think we got him anything for, I don’t think we got him like any gifts really until his third birthday.
Susan: Kate. What about you? Do you have your philosophy on spoiling kids, consumerism, you know,
Kate: both Nirav and I are of the camp that we just kind of gift throughout the year. I don’t, I’m not like into gifting on specific occasions, like a ton of presents I guess, you know, now that you [00:09:00] mentioned it, I know my mother-in-law has bought gifts for Raya and then, but I haven’t literally have not thought of any because I’m like, oh, I just bought her a whole bunch of stuff on black Friday, but then I guess it kind of just wrapped those up and put them under the tree.
Kate: Oh no. It’s like bad planning, but that’s how I think. Right. I’m like, well, I don’t really think of like, I’m going to get all these things for her for Christmas. I’m like, oh, this is on sale. This looks good. Or here’s my wishlist. Oh, it’s on sale. Now, let me go get it for her. You know, I, I feel like I’m very pragmatic in that.
Kate: But I know that as she gets older, I think. It depends on, you know, the social environment the kids are in. I feel like that really impacts how they see gifting. Right. Like, for example, back in the day I dated someone from the Midwest and his whole family, like was so into gifts. Like for this three or four year old, there were like, you know, I don’t know, like 40 gifts for his birthday.
Kate: And I’m just like, what, you know, I grew up, like, I don’t know, my parents would just be like, Hey, here’s a book for your birthday. I’m like, yay. You know, I don’t know. Anyway, sorry. That’s like a little bit [00:10:00] off and it’s slightly judgy, but I’m just like, wow. I didn’t realize like there is, I mean, with some families it’s a whole culture of, of just gifting, you know?
Kate: And then it’s like a thing, but I don’t, I guess I haven’t really absorbed that. And I’m more of a practical like, oh, I see this thing. I think, you know, so-and-so might like it. Let me get it for that person. As opposed to thinking specifically for an occasion. But I don’t know. Should I re revamped my policy now that I have kids?
Kate: I haven’t really thought,
Susan: well, I’m just thinking about those 40 gifts and you think about all that cash that was, and if they just only put it in the 5 29 accounts gonna be crazy.
Jeanette: I would say Jake, my husband’s family is more into the gifts around the holidays and it wasn’t a little bit of an adjustment, you know, the first Christmas I spent with them, like, it was just really different from my family. . And yeah, I think I’m trying to figure out .
Jeanette: For, for our kids. What’s, what’s the right tone that I want to set for them. And what are the right expectations. But yeah, I think he, and I’m similar to you. And I think my parents were similar, similar in the way that,[00:11:00] if we needed something and if we could afford it and it was a good deal, we just get it, you know?
Jeanette: And there wasn’t this huge buildup to Christmas or birthdays. And maybe because of that, I find gifting rather stressful around this time. Right. It’s just like, okay, what is the perfect gift did that they would love. And I just feel really, I get really stressed out about it and I find myself spending a lot of time, just you know, looking around and try to think about like, what’s the best gift.
Susan: I remember Amber anxiety around opening a gift in front of somebody else. Yeah. That’s the whole thing versus American culture. I don’t like it. I don’t, I don’t want them to see my disappointment or confusion. I don’t. I don’t want to fake anything. It’s I don’t like any of it.
Jeanette: Yeah, I remember it was it that’s the other thing that I had to get used to, and this was like, even before I met Jake, right.
Jeanette: But in Korean culture, at least [00:12:00] when you get a gift, you never open it in front of the person who gave it to you. You just put it to one side and then like, after everybody leaves, then you open it. Right. But I think at least like white American culture, it seems like the norm is people expect you to open the gift right there.
Jeanette: Like they want to see you and , experience the joy or whatever, the gratification that you get contact.
Susan: The contact high of the gift. What’s the contact time like, cause you’re like, Ooh, this is like really awesome. And then they can feel it. It’s also really awesome. It’s like, they’re getting it gifted to them almost.
Jeanette: right. Like that vicarious experience maybe. So, or, or just like, they want to be there to see you happy to receive a gift. But like, I think for the longest time, yeah. That made me feel really weird. It was kind of something to get used to.
Susan: Are you guys buying anything for your husbands? I did.[00:13:00]
Susan: I mean, you don’t have to say what it is. I’m just saying like, do you have a thing?
Kate: No, not for Christmas. Just, I only do gifts for him for his birthday and then maybe cute little card
Kate: for anniversary.
Susan: Just one cute little card.
Kate: I just feel like I do so many nice things for
Kate: him on a regular basis.
Kate: I don’t know. It also, he’s very hard. I don’t know if this is your spouses, but he’s very hard to get for, like, I don’t even know what to gift him. He doesn’t really like, like I have a whole bunch of things if he, like, what do you want? I’m like, and then he’s just like, Hmm, I don’t know, whatever, you know, so
Jeanette: yeah. I think part of the problem is that Jake will just go and get whatever he needs. Right. So it’s just, it’s hard for me to get things that he really needs. I try to get him things that are not that expensive, but are [00:14:00] maybe a little bit nicer than he would get for himself. So like things like underpants, like I would get him nicer, more expensive underpants, the kind of underpants that cost like twenty-five dollars and underpin I’m like.
Jeanette: That’s that’s so much for a pair of underpants, but then I will, I will get them for him, for his, for, for Christmas.
Kate: That’s a good one. Upgrade like an everyday item.
Susan: Well Marvin wanted like a $300 coffee scale so that he can like. Measure if a shot is like, I don’t know, 25 grams or something. And I was like, are you competing for the world barista championships? Like, why does that matter? Like, aren’t you going to still drink it anyways? Like, what’s wrong with our current, like Amazon pins on brand scale, basic, whatever.
Susan: And, and then I saw, I was just like crushed his heart. And I was just like, what am I turning Grinch? Like, you can’t yuck someone else’s yum. You know, like that’s [00:15:00] not nice. But then also I was like, I can’t afford it, do like this, a lot of money for me. So I was like, ah, I want to be nice to, how can it be nice?
Susan: And then he was like, oh, just take me out to dinner. And I was like, okay. But it just seems like, so like, cause it’s okay, there’ll be a joint experience, but it’s like, how is that different from any other night? So I don’t know. I just I was like trying to like. He was like, I love Christmas. I love it.
Susan: Like, we have been listening Christmas music since October. I’m like, okay. So then what is, what is the child of a refugee? Do I go to a thrift store? And I’m calling him and based at me from the store and being like, what about this decoration? This could go here and blah, blah, blah. And he just like, he’s looking at the stuff and then he’s like, no, that’s ugly.
Susan: And I was like trying to make Christmas special for you. And that’s where we’re at right now. Yeah.
Jeanette: What did you get him last year? I don’t remember. I don’t know. I don’t [00:16:00] remember either. I was just, just curious. I don’t remember. I don’t know. It’s it’s, there’s this like strange pressure of the holidays that I think nobody likes.
Susan: So I’m unclear why we’re all participating in it. Is it fun? Is the holidays fun for you?
Kate: I mean it’s okay. Like I mentioned before, I’m kind of a Grinch, so just feel like I don’t the whole holiday spirit with the lights
Kate: so I don’t know, but I mean, if other people get into it, like I’ll participate, you know, like people do white elephant. Or something, but I wouldn’t be the main instigator, which is why I actually, I feel stressed out a little bit sometimes because I see all these photos of people with like their, you know, their stockings on the matching stockings, you know, the names like stitched on there, hanging over the mantle and I’m like trying to go buy those.
Kate: So then I spend like an hour, you know, on pottery barn or whatever, all these websites and like, oh, that one, I was like, oh my God, [00:17:00] this stock is $80. And then of course I buy nothing. So I’ve wasted an hour. You know what I mean? This is literally every holiday. That’s why I hate it. Cause I, I convinced myself like, okay, Kate, you need to do something.
Kate: And then it’s been time like researching and I’m like, no, no, no, this costs too much money. And then, I mean, I did buy like a fake Christmas tree last year on sale. Yes. But that was like the extent.
Kate: So it’s like stressful. I don’t know.
Jeanette: Yeah. Sometimes I feel like, I wonder if the people who managed to decorate their homes, like really nicely for.
Jeanette: Like, I, I feel like they must have a magic wand, you know, that they can just wave and then it all gets done because , I think about doing that for our house and I feel like I would literally at least have to spend one whole day doing it.
Jeanette: Right. Just between buying the thing, the stuff, buying it, unpacking it, putting it up, you know, it would take me an entire day, at least if not two.
Jeanette: And I just am like, I, [00:18:00] it’s just hard for me to. To justify doing that. And it’s hard for me to , think about anybody else, just being okay. Doing that, but maybe it’s just because they value it more. I’m pretty sure they don’t have a magic wand, but maybe they do well.
Kate: Well, so I think one, they probably grew up with like an idea of what things are supposed to look like.
Kate: Right. Like at our house, my mom did get into Christmas stuff, like when I was in high school. So she got all these Reeves, like thick artificial reads and stuff. So I guess like I do that with her. Right. He like, I feel like if you grow up with that, that you’ve had to know what things are supposed to look like.
Kate: if you don’t then, I mean, I don’t know, it’s a little extra effort.
Kate: And then I think people actually like it, like, it stresses me out. I’m just like the day after Thanksgiving, I’m like, I know I should bring up the Christmas tree now, but like, I’m like, oh, I have to go into the garage. I mean, and my Christmas tree is puny and it’s already prelighted cause I’m lazy as fuck.
Kate: And I still didn’t want to get, and you know how I got shamed into doing it because. The week after Thanksgiving. So like the first week of December, it was like December 2nd, I go pick up [00:19:00] my daughter from daycare. And then the teacher asked me, she’s like, oh, do you want to have a Christmas tree at home?
Kate: And like I mean, we haven’t set it up. She’s like, oh yeah, because today we were asking all the kids, do you have a Christmas tree at home? Cause the daycare had set up their freaking Christmas tree. And then Ryan is that she didn’t have one. I was like, well, what the fuck? Now I have to go set up a fucking Christmas tree.
Kate: Like now, you know what I mean? I was going to wait till after our trip to Miami. Anyway. Sorry. All that to say
Susan: is like, wait, literally rise only like one month older than art, right? Yeah. That’d be very, yeah. I don’t think art has the capacity to answer that question.
Kate: I think maybe it was more like be pointed to that.
Kate: Do you have one? I don’t know. I mean, maybe she didn’t understand, but then I, as the parent, I was just like, oh God, I get, like, I just got caught being the parent that didn’t have the fucking Christmas tree set up right after.
Susan: And they were like, you don’t have the Christmas spirit Mrs. Wong. I gotta tell [00:20:00] you that really sad.
Susan: Well, okay. Wait, just to close the loop on that. It’s a tradition now, like the day after Thanksgiving or that weekend, like we Marvin and I go get the tree. This is our second year decorating it. Like now we are adding ornaments every year. Like it’s becoming fun cause he loves Christmas, but. I don’t really see it as work it’s I just, it sounds cool.
Susan: But anyways, we can’t do lights because we don’t have an outdoor outlet or something, blah, blah, blah. And so we don’t go all out. Like, I kind of wanted to be that lady that goes to all the drug stores and home depots after Christmas, when things are 70% off hoard everything. So that like, I’m that house on the corner that has like the big blowup frosty, the snowman.
Susan: And like, you know, it, things are moving and like there’s a little train. Like I want to go crazy like that, but there’s this house in west Seattle called the Manashi house. Okay. It’s like the Christmas house they told me their bill was like $10,000 for December. [00:21:00]
Kate: The blue, it’s like a private house, like a, like a family owned.
Susan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. They they’re like a, some jewelry company in Seattle or whatever, but it’s the house to go to in west Seattle. Like, we’ll probably go tonight and just like, you just like, just take it all in, like it’s so bright, you know, electricity bills, like $10,000. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m kind of like, do I want to be that lady $10,000?
Susan: I mean, I’m happy to get the other things on sale. Like reindeer, maybe we put Santa on the roof, whatever, but I’m like, I don’t know. It seems like a lot,
Kate: you know, when I’m thinking, when I see this, like the price tag on like a stocking from pottery barn, that’s like $80 or whatever. I’m like, yo for $80, I can get herb yoga leggings for myself.
Kate: So I don’t really
Kate: a lot of great parts,
Susan: full disclosure. We have the pottery barn stockings we don’t put in. We got them all written, you know, it’s nice. I don’t think there were 80,000. I don’t know. I think I probably got it on black Friday. Okay. Okay. Okay. Wheels better. I got, but I got to tell you the thing I saw, I was reading in the New York times [00:22:00] that they’re talking about stockings.
Susan: Like, what should you put in stockings? Like, what should you do for different kids ages? And I’m going down this rabbit hole. But the article was saying like one great thing is just an orange. And you put the orange because it rounds out the toe. But the reason why people used to put oranges and stockings was because in the 1920s and thirties, there was the depression and citrus was like a totally like, it was like such an, an amazing delicacy that no one can really afford.
Susan: And then you could have this one thing. And I was just like my kid will never know such, you know, he won’t, he won’t know. And then I’m like, here I am debating. Like, I’m actually probably going to get on the love, every train, because people are asking what kind of toys. And I want them to just give us gift certificates.
Susan: I’m finally doing love every everyone two years too late, but. It’s not a sad story with the orange, like what those kids grew up in and like, what are, what are our kids growing up in? [00:23:00] What is today’s equivalent of that orange? What’s the latest, like, but
Susan: sorry, that was a really bad video. Get mental health into a stocking. Oh, Derrick terrible. I mean, I was about to say video game consoles. Like all the chips are like low supply, so like not everyone can get one, but that’s just privileged.
Jeanette: Yeah. I feel like I’m trying to tell Isaiah about that whole spirit of generosity and appreciating what you have, like, especially around Thanksgiving.
Jeanette: I don’t really feel like he’s catching up on that yet. You know, so for example, like I’ll tell him, oh, do you know that. some kids, they don’t have this kind of stuff. Right. And maybe they can only get one gift or maybe their family can’t afford to give them any gifts.
Jeanette: And he’s kind of like, yeah, yeah, where’s my present but I think it’s slowly seeping in, I mean, I think unfortunately, like one of the ways is you know, he sees [00:24:00] homeless people around Seattle, then he’ll ask me, what is that person doing?
Jeanette: Like, why are they, are they camping there? You know? And I’ll tell them, you know, some people don’t have homes, they don’t have houses and so they don’t have anywhere to sleep. So that’s why they they’re sleeping there. And he won’t really respond, but I could tell, like, it’s kind of, she’s trying to process it in his mind.
Jeanette: And then later on, he’ll tell me, you know, some people don’t have houses.
Jeanette: And so I know it’s kind of slowly getting through. Yeah. It’s I try not to make any character judgements because you know, it’s part of him learning right. About the state of the world, but then also just learning to appreciate, appreciate what we have.
Susan: Yes, but then also there’s this like social pressure within families to like show up, like, in terms of like, I don’t know if you’re thinking Jeanette about your nieces and nephews, like Kate, you know, I don’t know if you have [00:25:00] these folks that you have to attend to, but like, yes, we want to show them all these lessons, but also it’s like, do you, we have to like make this holiday really great and special for them.
Susan: Right. And like, and there’s this, like, I’m curious. Do you check in with other adults or your siblings or your cousins or whoever about like what their kids want and like coordinate stuff to optimize? Like, what are, what are your plans for all of this? Like, there’s this other, you know, there’s this moral thing of like, just teaching them values.
Susan: And then there’s just like kid expectation of like, where’s my present and being like a good elder figure in the family. Like, are you thinking about that? Do you, do you have secret huddle up meetings with other adults that are going to be difficult?
Jeanette: So for Thanksgiving, because we were at with my husband’s family and we won’t be seeing them in person for Christmas, we did some Christmas gifts exchange over Thanksgiving, but, and, and I did set up a [00:26:00] Google sheet where we wrote for each kid, like the things that are on their wishlist.
Jeanette: And then people signed up to get those things because I didn’t want to run into a situation where , multiple people would get them the same gift. So we did do a bit of coordination. I feel like I’m on my side and my nephews are too young to really have expectations about gifts yet.
Jeanette: And they also don’t have older siblings, so they just don’t know. And then on my, on Jake side we have nieces and nephews there, but I think the family culture there is a little bit more about simplicity, like on material. So there are requests, but I don’t feel like they’re that they’re usually
Jeanette: more simple, like one babysitter’s club book.
Jeanette: Yeah. It’s like a bird feeder, you know, so that we could watch birds, in the winter time, you know, or thoughtful, or these cards that, where you could like reorder them in different ways so that you could tell a different story every time. You know, more simple toys that [00:27:00] encourage, creative play.
Jeanette: So I haven’t really faced the okay. Like my nephew’s really wants a game boy or whatever. I don’t know. Do people who would still sell Gameboys anyways, but like, should I get it for them? I, I don’t really feel like I’m facing that yet.
Susan: I guess for me, we’re starting a text thread about like, what does your kid want, but everyone’s kind of like gravitating towards cash. And then I’m kind of like, okay, lunar new year is happening in February. We’re not even Christian. Why am I giving it?
Susan: You know, like I just, I don’t know. It just seems weird to play, to give an impersonal gift on a holiday that isn’t it’s as a kid. Yes, I did love Christmas. Yes. It was very exciting to open stuff as an adult. I see how much stuff they have and it makes me want to throw up in my mouth. And I don’t, it’s, it’s a very awkward time for me,
Susan: [00:28:00] I, I wanna, I wanna change gears a little bit and maybe Jeanette, you can also talk about Thanksgiving too, but it’s just around gathering with family.
Susan: And I’m curious, like, is it fun for you? Like how do you maintain sanity? Like. What do you, what have you learned over the years? Or is it so pretty bad?
Kate: You know, actually I was just thinking, as you were talking about, you know, huddling with relatives, I was like, you know, maybe my Grinchy pay con Christmas is related to the fact that I don’t, I grew up without really family in the us. Right. So we didn’t, it was just me and my parents.
Kate: And so we didn’t, obviously my relatives in China were not celebrating Christmas then. And so it was nice because it was three of us for Christmas. We didn’t have to deal with like [00:29:00] relatives or any drama or anything like that. And of course, like, you know, no checking with fifth grade, but I realized now as an adult, you that’s become a detriment because.
Kate: Well, I don’t have any siblings or I know I have a couple of cousins now, but then my mind doesn’t automatically go to thinking about providing gifts. Right. I was just thinking, as you’re talking to ask your cousin what her, you know, if I’m getting gifts for her kids and then same with the whole family situation, which is that I feel lucky.
Kate: I didn’t have to deal with any holiday drama growing up because we didn’t even, we didn’t have family in the U S you know, so it was like never a question. We’d always do the church, like holiday Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving feast, and then Christmas was just at home and pretty low key. And then in another weird way, I guess, , since my in-laws don’t really celebrate Christmas.
Kate: Cause they’re
Kate: but my, like my parents, even though, you know, they’re Chinese immigrants, but they’re kind of more like into the American holidays. So [00:30:00] Thanksgiving, we always do with my parents. Able to come back to the U S this year was with my mom. So I guess around like,
Kate: that’s weirdly enough in terms of all the family dynamics, like one of the least stressful occasions.
Kate: But I don’t
Kate: know. So I guess I don’t have a lot of, I have a lot of stressful things to share on, but then I wonder if it’s because I’m just not taking it seriously enough, you know, like I should get more into it.
Susan: Well, I, I gotta tell you I guess like a warning story I’m into it. Okay. What, I don’t know if I told the story here yet, but like one Christmas get together extreme indulgence.
Susan: I’ve all these nephews. And I was like, You can open one gift on Christmas Eve. If you put together a play, I’m the director, we’re going to talk about the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist. You can choose. And there they’re like, okay. And then, so plot line was superhero and then who’s the villain and we talked about it and then we said, who’s going to do [00:31:00] what we kind of loosely rehearsed it as much as you can with a four through like nine year old, like five boys or whatever.
Susan: We perform it in front of everyone in front of their parents. And everyone’s like recording and they open their presents. And then I brought it up when you’re I’m like, oh, you want to do it again? And they all were like, no, Auntie Susan, I hate that. And I was just like, okay. You know, and it was just. It broke my heart a little bit because when we gather, I, I have high expectations, I think we should be doing, doing the snow angels and nicking the cookies and hot cocoa and like making snow men and like laughing and playing games together and like watching movies and throwing popcorn.
Susan: Like I want to be white family Christmas, you know? And it’s like, really what they’re like, this is how it started, how it’s going is like, the kids are just like sitting there and playing video games. Okay. All the adults that wanted to the house in Tahoe actually don’t like snow and being cold. Okay.
Susan: [00:32:00] And so it’s just like a kind of us sitting indoors, eating and drinking for five days straight. And it’s like, it’s nice. And sometimes we watch some movies, whatever, but it’s. I want it to be this thing. And I have this book called family Christmas, and you write down the favorite memories and the best quotes of the vacation together.
Susan: And like, I’m, I’m the only one filling it out until I start crying and saying, how come nobody cares? And I go to my room and in the morning, maybe a couple people have written something, but I’m kind of like, oh my God, like, we’re trying to make some memories here, guys. Like somebody like step it up. And then I was processing with my therapist today.
Susan: She goes, so how are you feeling about the holidays? And I was like, I am I’m, I’m trying not to go in with any expectations. I’m trying to just be there. The expectation is like, I will eat with them, like in like, can I just set the bar to this place where, because I want to be the, I, I, [00:33:00] my ego thinks I’m some like, really loving, gracious person, but really like, I’m actually not very loving cause.
Susan: Disappointed with them and they can feel it. And so I’m trying to love them as they are instead of loving them and through what I, how I want to be loved back. So this is like this like intense crash course in love language of realizing like they’re not. So if they’re never going to be me, how can I still really enjoy this time?
Susan: Even though we paid premium prices for the airline tickets and the lodging and the rental car, and it’s like pretty fricking expensive to gather and just hang out and they’re not going to do a play. Like they won’t listen to Susan, the cruise director. And it’s like, it really makes me very sad. And, and so I just wonder, why do I have these expectations?
Susan: You know, where did they come from? They’re clearly not serving me. And so there’s this. It’s like the [00:34:00] spiritual practice of like, just really trying to let go, let go the control and like really be present and just allow, and, and I can run away to all my silent meditation retreats. I’m going to one in mid January and it’s gonna be great, but like, this is the practice.
Susan: This is a practice of letting go of control.
Jeanette: I think it could be loving, but still be disappointed. I don’t think those two things are you know, totally contradictory. I feel like this is also a bigger discussion though of and I think we’ll touch on this in a future episode, but expectations and what you do with them and what they mean.
Jeanette: Right. Because I think that. You do have expectations of people, including the people that you love and sometimes your expectation for the people that you love, or even greater than four, like anybody off the street. But having expectations can also hurt you, you know, if [00:35:00] they’re not met, so, okay.
Jeanette: Maybe you try to lower your expectations, but I think my question and a little bit of my experience with that is like, okay, there is there’s trade offs there, right? Because on one hand, if you have lower expectations, maybe you are just happier because you’re not disappointed. But I think there is also like a little bit of a sense of loss in lowering our expectations, right?
Jeanette: Because you kind of are just saying that, okay, this relationship is not going to be how I want it to be at least right now. And there’s a bit of a sense of loss.
Susan: Yeah, but I am controlling, you know, and I don’t know. It’s, it’s like hard. It’s hard to say because in sometimes we have a really fun time because I orchestrated this like this one time when I just went back to California, I got high. And then I was like, Hey guys, wouldn’t be fun. If we all wore shiny [00:36:00] stuff and we were making dinner and then we raided each other’s closets, I was at my brother’s house.
Susan: And then we had this like amazing photo shoot where we’re just all shiny and glittery. And it was like super fun. And it was like, why not? When you get together, dress up. I put an invitation out there and everyone, except for one kid participated in that one kid took the group picture and that was fine, you know, but it was like, come on.
Susan: That was fun. That was auntie Susan is fun. But it’s,
Susan: I’m trying to, I’m trying to grapple with this. I just saw my dad last month and I kept, my mantra was we have limited time, so let’s have quality time,
Jeanette: but you, and by that you mean also manage your own expectations so that you’re not, sorry, I don’t want to put words in your mouth,
Susan: but we kind of to,
Jeanette: [00:37:00] You’re just kind of, I think a part of it was you want to manage your own expectations so that when you’re there, you’re not feeling, you’re not spending a lot of time feeling upset about what he’s not doing. Right,
Susan: right, right. Right. So it’s like, I have to change my expectations and yeah, there is there, there totally is that loss, but then it’s.
Susan: How many times do you ever do this morbid exercise where you count the number of times you’re going to see somebody again before they die.
Jeanette: I sometimes think about that. You know, now that we’re getting older too, I’m just kind of like, well, you know, how many more times are we going to do this or have opportunity to do this?
Jeanette: And it definitely gives a different perspective on certain things.
Susan: Yeah. So I mean, hanging out with my siblings and their kids, I’m sure there’s many more times, but with my dad, you know, if he’s 67 pretend he lives to 85. Well, he said that’s what the spirit channeler says. He’s going to live a donut.
Susan: Okay, great. So we’ve got a number. [00:38:00] How many times do I really visit them? A year? Less than one it’s like every other year, maybe. So it’s kind of like we have limited time, so let’s make quality.
Susan: But yeah. Do you, do you two have any expectations of like, what kind of Christmas it’s gotta be? And we got to watch these movies and we gotta like wake up in jammies together or like, we’re going to like, like, are there’s like specific traditions that you really hold on to that make it exciting or are you like, oh God, we got to figure out what the traditions are.
Kate: I didn’t have any, but then after our last conversation about imaginary people like Santa, I thought maybe I need to start thinking about this a little more seriously. I mean, Raya’s not two yet. So I guess maybe I have a little bit more time. Plenty of, you know, even though I am a Grinch, but are things are important for kids?
Kate: Like we mentioned last time having
Kate: Just things that the family does, that our tradition, right? It doesn’t have to be commercial or gift giving or you know, just, [00:39:00] just. The holidays. Christmas can be an occasion to mark the family, doing something special together that we don’t normally do. Right.
Kate: And so I guess I have really not given a lot of thought to that. But maybe now I should, because it’s not just me. Right. I think there’s still, I think things that are very delightful, the children, you know outside of Santa that kids, they just find so much pleasure in some of the small things.
Kate: Like, for example, when you took a ride to the mall recently, and she saw a fake reindeer, I mean, they’re like stuffed reindeer or whatever. And she’s so excited by that. And so now she wants to like see them every day. And I was like, oh, they’re just reindeer, you know, to me as an adult and so jaded.
Kate: And so I wonder if I need just to recalibrate my lenses, you know what Jesse, the world. And I try to see things through her eyes and I don’t, it doesn’t have the big deal. Right. And we have to cost a lot of money. It doesn’t have to be a big production, but it could just be something that she knows and she can look forward to every Christmas
Susan: you’re like near Bellevue, or are you going to go to [00:40:00] the like snowflake thing lane or something
Susan: every single morning, every single night at 7:00 PM, they have a big parade down the main street downtown, you know, I did see this.
Kate: Okay. I guess I probably
Kate: should then
Kate: maybe there’s going to be fake ranger there and maybe you could go every night. W well, what I’m looking forward to when art gets older is I want to take them to the food bank and volunteer there with all of us.
Kate: I think you have to be 14 or 16, but I think we should do that on like, Maybe that’s something around Thanksgiving and Christmas, right. In terms of the service part, I just, but he’s like too young and, you know, picks his boogers can’t do that yet. What about you Jeanette? Any traditions that you’re starting to think about or?
Jeanette: Well my side there weren’t that many traditions. I mean, mainly it was around going to church and then it was like a lot of Korean church stuff too. Like on new year’s day, sometimes [00:41:00] my parents would go to a really early morning service, like at 5:00 AM, we would go to church and they would do new year’s prayer.
Jeanette: That’s like, so Korean church stuff anyways. I’m not planning on continuing that necessarily, but I feel like we inherited more tradition from Jake’s side of the family. So his mom is Swedish and I don’t know if it’s. If some of the things that she does is necessarily Swedish specifically, but she has these little traditions, like she’ll put out little candy bowls filled with chocolates and they’re scattered around the house.
Jeanette: She’ll put out stockings with the kids’ names on them, and then she’ll put like stocking stuffers, which I didn’t even really know. That was a thing until I went to Jake’s house and then they have like Christmas trees and then they open gifts on Christmas morning. So I think we’ll do that. We, we have been getting a Christmas tree every year and that’s something that we did even before the kids were born.
Jeanette: I also tried to do this thing where we’re we mentioned direct cookies last year and we decorated them. [00:42:00] And so I tried to do it again this year, but I only made it halfway through before Isaiah lost interest. So I have still a half a batch of gingerbread dough in my refrigerator, which I’ll probably end up throwing out, you know?
Jeanette: So you just try things. Sometimes they don’t work, you know, maybe he’s too young or maybe he’s just not that interested, but I think it’s a little bit experimental, right? It doesn’t have to be rigidly, the same thing every year. I mean, I think it’s all, it’s just about kind of putting some things in the atmosphere that the kids can interact with and yeah.
Jeanette: Make it feel a little different.
Susan: Yeah. We just bought the gingerbread house kit from trader Joe’s for 7 99. Seems very worth it. We’ll do it with grandma. Yeah.
Jeanette: I should have done that instead of like, we’re going to like mix all the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients separately, and then we’re going to put it back together.
Jeanette: And while you take a rest time, it’s going to chill in the fridge. And when you come out, you know, we’re going to roll it out and we’re going to bake it and then we’ll have to wait for it to cool. And then we’re going to decorate them. I [00:43:00] mean, I was just vicious. Yeah. This was like, just like too much. I know
Susan: you get a gold star baby.
Susan: No. And
Jeanette: where am I cookies? I want them right now. He literally said that like, as we were taking the flour out of the pantry, like zero, and he’s like, where’s my cookies. Where are my cookies?
Susan: I worked so hard for this family.
Kate: I was just thinking, this is, you know, the lesson here is almost, I think there’s a lot of pressure socially to do a certain thing or You know, other people have other
Kate: traditions. And I guess the thing is like, if I were to sum up what I would think about the school holiday
Kate: thing and it’s just being able to
Kate: make it, make, making sure what you do has meaning
Kate: for your family
Kate: Whatever it is,
Kate: as opposed to just blindly.
Kate: You know, [00:44:00] doing things for the sake of doing things, which I think is very easy to get caught up
Susan: in for any holiday.
Jeanette: But yeah, the two that do you guys, do you guys have like specific family values that you’ve made explicit?
Susan: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Okay.
Jeanette: We don’t, but I was like, I feel like it’s also not really our style, but I’m wondering if it’s worth doing just to be more intentional about it, but Susan, I’d love to hear yours.
Susan: We are part of the flock car, car, car F fun, L love O open K kind. We don’t need to see we’re like a tech company.
Susan: Like you are. Marvin, the smart family, Susan, Marvin arts smart. Well, duh cause F stands for fun. So that that’ll help. Our, our celebrity family name has to be fun too. We used to be SUMAR, but [00:45:00] since Kmart is not in Vogue anymore, we’re smart family now. Yeah.
Kate: I think I don’t have a lot of things I think about that I value, but I don’t state them
Kate: explicitly, but I think maybe for kids good approach.
Kate: To do that.
Kate: I mean, I don’t know how, when is
Kate: the right age start verbalizing some of those things. But
Kate: I would, I think it would actually be beneficial to do that. Yeah, I think maybe Nirav and I you need to have a conversation around it. I think also for him, the holidays aren’t have never, or like Western holidays have never been a big deal.
Kate: And so he kind of doesn’t really think
Kate: about them very much.
Kate: Right. So we never really had a conversation, but I think obviously as the kids get older, they’ll come back, they’ll bring back
Kate: social expectations right.
Kate: And we need to just kind of figure out how we want to deal [00:46:00] with
Jeanette: I already feel them a little bit. You know, so for example, Isaiah went through a heavy Spider-Man stage and there was another kid at his school who was also going through a heavy Spider-Man stage. And then he would come home and tell me about the different Spiderman things that this other kid had.
Jeanette: Right. He wasn’t throwing tantrums and saying, I want this Spiderman thing, but he was saying, oh, you know, this other kid has Spiderman shoes, mommy, you know, or he has a Spider-Man costume that he wears to school,
Susan: you know?
Jeanette: Yeah, exactly. It’s that would be my ever since I was like, oh, he does.
Jeanette: Okay. You know? And, but it was almost like my son is very he’s very, he’s, he’s a little circumspect. I mean, even at three, I feel like that’s just his personality. He rarely asked for things outright that he knows might be that I might take as more. You know, he’ll ask for like, okay, please give me milk and all of that stuff.
Jeanette: But if he knows that, like, this is not the usual course of things that we [00:47:00] give him, he doesn’t just outright demanded or asked for it. He’ll kind of
Jeanette: drop hints. It’s Korean. Yeah. Very Korean. Right.
Jeanette: And, and my response has been, if I don’t want to get it for him, like kind of like, oh, if he does just like acknowledge that fact and move on.
Jeanette: But but when it came time to make that Christmas list for my in-laws, I, you know, I, I put on the list, I’m like, I think Isaiah would like a pair of Spider-Man shoes and he got them, you know? And and he was thrilled. But you know, maybe it’s not that intense right now, but I am starting to see that kind of peer influence.
Susan: Oh, yeah, I’m a terrible thing. It’s just,
Kate: yeah. A good topic for another like full fledged episode. I feel like I’m getting a little nervous about it. If you haven’t think as you know, right. It starts speaking more. I’m sure. It’ll, it’s just a natural human behavior to, right. But I think, I guess it’s good to
Kate: think it through now, before we have to [00:48:00] face it.
Kate: Like it’s always harder when you’re trying to scramble for a philosophy or set of values to express when you are faced with it.
Susan: I don’t know. It’ll come up when it needs to come up
Susan: is anyone actually stressed out about the holidays? I was like, am I the only one that stressed out?
Kate: I feel like maybe I should be more stressed out than I am not taking
Kate: it seriously.
Susan: You know what? I have to take it seriously. You’re not trying to compete in like how holiday cheer or anything.
Jeanette: I think, I think I’m just mostly stressed out because it’s just more busy.
Jeanette: There’s more travel and more things to do, like yeah. Getting gifts and, you know, my kids’ school has like different events [00:49:00] that I need to help or participate in. And so it’s just like, overall, there’s just more things that I feel like I have to be doing. So that is stressful. I feel like the whole spending time with family thing.
Jeanette: You know, I, I think I’ve just kind of shifted my mindset around that. I think it helped that , Jake and I have been together for we’re together for many years, like before we had kids. So already, my expectations for were already set. Right. And, and I kind of feel like I had a certain set of tools that I had developed for myself to manage myself and manage my emotions while I was with family.
Jeanette: Like his family, as well as with my family.
Susan: Wait, wait, wait, wait, what are these tools like? Share, share the tools.
Jeanette: Oh yeah. They’re mostly having to do with adjusting expectations, like we’ve discussed. Right. So I think in the beginning I sometimes would have expectations that were out of step with what was actually going to happen.
Jeanette: [00:50:00] And I just had to change them. I just had to change my expectations for what was going to happen. Okay. Yeah, there’s maybe a little bit of a sense of loss with that. But I think overall it’s made me a more relaxed kind of happier person, right. Spending time with my in-laws as well as with my own family, frankly.
Jeanette: Right. So, so there’s that. And I think the other thing that I did was just to identify the things that were really important to me and try to figure out ways to meet those needs within the constraints of like what my family was going to do. So for example, one thing that’s really important for me is before kids, like making sure I was fed, like with decent food, like food is very important to me.
Jeanette: I’m also like not a very big person. So I tend to like my blood pressure it goes like up and down. If I don’t eat on a regular basis Jake’s family, I would say has more irregular mealtimes and meal habits than what I’m used to. So, one thing that I just started doing is [00:51:00] I started loading up on snacks when you know, when I get there.
Jeanette: And then I also started becoming a lot more active and meal planning and preparation so that I knew that the food was going to be more like what I wanted. And it was also going to be like ready at a time, where would that I needed it to be. And then like, after having kids, you know, then your priorities shift again.
Jeanette: Like now my relationship to food is a little bit different as much more functional. It’s kind of like if I didn’t cook it and it’s not going to make me sick and it’s available now, like, you know, I’m going to eat it. And and it’s much more about , are my kids fed, you know? And did they eat something reasonably healthy?
Jeanette: And so I just tried to solve around that. When I get someplace, I’ll just make a big batch of fried rice or something that I know that the kids will just eat. And then I’m less stressed about whether dinner’s going to be late or whatever. Those are the ways that I’ve tried to make the holidays less stressful, but, but I think a big part of it is just yeah.
Jeanette: [00:52:00] Adjusting, knowing what to, what to expect and adjusting your expectations around that.
Susan: Yeah. I think that’s like a super rational. Thing to keep in mind the thing about families, like it’s totally irrational and full of emotional triggers and like trying to just be like, oh, what I’m experiencing right now is a misalignment expectation.
Susan: I’m going to shift it. You know, like it’s like in the ho in like the hot mess of it. It’s like, I don’t think that, you know, like I just, like, I go into like just feelings and but anyways, it’s good to have this talk now. It was a good talk.
Jeanette: Oh, yeah. And, and, and the road to me, developing these tools was full of blow ups.
Jeanette: I will say that, right. Like, it’s not that I, I just kind of sat down and wrote a list of my expectations and reality and then looked at the gap then, you know, figured out a way to match those. Like, I mean, there was a lot of times [00:53:00] when, you know, I would just be in my room because I couldn’t deal with going outside and talking to people, or I just like burst out crying or, you know, I, I basically just like ran away because I couldn’t deal with the situation.
Jeanette: So I don’t want to make it sound like it was just it was just all smooth sailing.
Susan: And that’s it for our episode. And as always, we end with our lightning round of inside thoughts. So the first one is when you have your first Christmas without kids, what are you going to do? Marvin and I are probably just going to go to Japan and eat food, Kate.
Kate: Oh, hang on. I go to Tahiti. I’ve always wanted to go since I was like 17. It’s going to go off somewhere, warm, tropical,
Susan: screw the kid.
Jeanette: [00:54:00] I think I want to go to the south of France. It’ll be still Christmasy, but then we’ll eat really good food and visit historical ruins. And I’ll just be able to walk around a museum and
Susan: I love this. None of us were like, I’m going to understand why my kid isn’t coming with me and like, what, who’s this? Who are they dating? You know, we were just like, oh, I know exactly where I’m going to go. Favorite holiday food. Oh my God. I gotta tell you. There’s these dark chocolate mint stars at trader Joe’s.
Susan: The smaller ones, not the bigger ones. They’re cut. It’s shortbread. It’s like small. They’re like really crunchy, but they’re small, which means you can have multiple and like not feel guilty. I look forward to that every Christmas.
Jeanette: I really like a high end Virginia ham
Kate: No, I, I kinda agree with her now. I got into ham recently. I didn’t understand the
Susan: appeal, [00:55:00] but where do you buy these hams? Like, I am, it’s gotta be
Kate: bone in.
Susan: Yeah. Wait, where do you buy the hand? Like, I’ve always been like you know, every protein gets its holiday, but I don’t know about him.
Susan: That was like thawed one out. Like where do you by the hand? There’s a catalog that sells only Virginia, like smoked hands and they’re very
Susan: delicious. Oh my God did not know about me because I’m like not into a lot of
Kate: meats these days, but I can tolerate him to
Susan: order myself a ham for Christmas.
Susan: Yes. There’s some funny, but you know what I’m talking about, how every holiday has like its own protein, right?
Kate: Number two, you know, it’s always like we’ll offer as an option to
Susan: something. Yeah. As an actual holiday, what’s the Christmas protein. That’s Christmas protein. And then Thanksgiving is Turkey. And then 4th of July is like chicken, because you’re going to barbecue.
Jeanette: and Easter is lamb. I know you don’t celebrate Easter, but Easter’s
Susan: lamb. [00:56:00] Cool. So I’m telling you, everyone gets, you know, each of the people get their things. So wait, Kate, is that your favorite holiday food or? No, actually you might.
Kate: It’s very prosaic. I kind of like, like high quality designer, candy cane, like
Susan: the thick kind
Kate: of cheapo red and white Stripe kind that you get for like a dollar for 12.
Kate: But like, I don’t even remember the brand, but like the really thick ones and have like different flavors.
Susan: And I just love sucking on that chocolate mint. No, no, no, no. They’re like raspberry ones and like, yeah. I get them at Christmas. You can’t find
Kate: The closest thing is like those restaurant mints, you know, the rest of the year, but
Susan: that’s not very good.
Susan: Yeah. Well, I guess I’ll do my plug. I have a chocolate company called Socala chocolatier. Oh my God. It’s my favorite thing for someone to send me a basket of my own chocolates. Okay. Okay.
Susan: So if you have three [00:57:00] hours to yourself, this holiday season gifted to you, no disturbances. What would you do with it? I would get high in line of bathtub.
Kate: Oh, gosh, I don’t know. So, okay. I gotta clean it out. So first I’m going to go swimming and then I’m going to come back. And then I have like whole array of all my favorite things. I’ll be lying on the sofa. And then I had like a whole platter of all the things that I like to eat, but like, not real, you know, like, like
Susan: snappy foods, then I can just lie
Kate: down and just like, you know, I’ll just spend the rest of the time just eating and reading with my dog by my side.
Jeanette: Yeah. I think I’ll go get a massage and then take a shower. And then.
Susan: Okay. My three hours, I’m going to undo that. I feel mine, like so typical. Hey, I really want to go to a happy hour, maybe at IL Nieto or something and really nice Italian food happy hour, but no it’s like on sale, you know, and eat like [00:58:00] fresh pasta and wine.
Susan: And then maybe do you, I, I really like random acts of kindness, you know? So like, I kind of want to, like, this is, I’ve done this before. It’s so terrible, but I’ll go to a coffee shop and then tell the, the person I’m like, okay, here’s like 20 bucks. So like, just keep paying until the 20 bucks is spent out for the next person or whatever, and the next person, and I’ll just sit there and like, wow.
Susan: Their reactions. And I’m like, this is not like a random selfless, like it’s like clearly wanting entertainment value, but maybe I would do that. Okay. Last thing. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
Susan: Oh my God. Yeah, maybe it is. My, my parents had taken all of us kids to go sledding in Northern California and we went to go find some snow or something. And we drove a few hours. We were on our way to Reno to [00:59:00] go gambling. And and then somehow we were in these like little, like sled saucers, those plastic ones going down the hill, but like, we didn’t have any winter clothes.
Susan: So all of us siblings were just wearing jeans and. You know, like sneakers and stuff, and we just got so wet and we’re so terrifyingly cold. But it was just so nice to do that. And I, I had, I had written about it the other day, so that was a very sweet holiday memory.
Jeanette: How about you, Kate?
Kate: I guess
Kate: it’s not as clear as Susan’s, but I would say
Kate: probably maybe the first or first Christmas or two that I had in the us.
Kate: No that was like five or like 6, 6, 7. And I just think there’s some photos and I just remember like, you know, at the time we didn’t have much money cause my dad was a grad student. And so my dad’s PhD advisor would always have like all the poorer, you know, foreign grad students over and their families over to his house.[01:00:00]
Kate: And to me it was like such a grand time. It was so fancy. There are all these foods that, you know, we never got to eat. And. Like, I mean, I’m sure in respect, it was just, you know, normal, like nice American please, but you know, it was very exotic to me, especially having just come over from China. And I guess what I value I think is so great about that is just more like the sense of wow, this something that’s so new and that’s so different.
Kate: And you’re just like this sense of wonder, you know, for the first time, because then, you know, fast forward 10 years, like I’d become a Grinch. I mean, that
Kate: was already in high school. So, and then fast forward now, like I dunno, it’s like very sweet. Yeah.
Jeanette: I think for me, it’s probably after I became more of an adult. Jake. And I spent, when we’re in college or junior year, we spent our first semester in South Africa. And towards the end, I remember one, we threw a Thanksgiving dinner that I cooked [01:01:00] for a bunch of people. We met in South Africa.
Jeanette: And then we went to an Anglican church in South Africa and not to stereotype, but basically every south African I met was like a beautiful singer. And during the service, I just remember people would sing in both English and Zulu, which was the local language of where we were. And it was just so beautiful.
Jeanette: I’ve just never heard such beautiful music, sung by not just like the people up front, but just the whole congregation. And I just felt this sense of like, almost like floating. It was like, it was so beautiful. And so that’s one of just the memories around the holidays that I have that, you know, that just kind of stay with you.
Susan: You know, all of our memories there about gathering, like none of them were about presence,
Jeanette: right? Yeah. I think that’s true. I mean, I think even if your cousins want presence now, I mean, I just don’t know if that’s like the kind of thing they’re going to remember.[01:02:00]
Susan: All right. Watch out. I’m going to put an orange in your stocking and then talk about the great depression.
Susan: Hashtag auntie Susan. I’m the fun one. Happy holidays, everybody. Happy holidays.
Jeanette: Happy holidays
Kate: from the Grinch. Okay.
Kate: you’ve just listened to a confessional of model minority moms. If you loved this episode, please give us a rating. Follow us on Instagram at model minority moms and tell a friend about us. If you have a suggestion for a future episode or questions, send us an email@example.com