The holidays are officially over

Tonight I regretfully took down our Christmas decorations.  The Christmas star and ornaments went into a box.  The lights, garland, and beads were put away.  The fake tree went back into its box.  Everything went into storage.  The holiday season is officially over at our home.  We try to leave the Christmas decorations up as long as possible without drawing unwanted attention by antics such as leaving the tree up until March or leaving up the outdoor Christmas lights all year long.  The decorum adds a nice, festive atmosphere to our home.  After we disassembled the Christmas ensemble tonight, our living room looked too bare, and my wife and I talked about what we could to fill the gaping hole where the Christmas tree once stood.  Taking down the Christmas decorations and putting them away is always a chore, like cleaning up at the end of a party.  Eleven months from now, they’ll be back out of the box and back in our living room.  That may seem like a long time, but time seems to pass by more quickly with each passing day.  In fact, there are only 345 days until next Christmas!
Last night we hosted a group of University of Washington MBAs in our home.  Three of my classmates came over for dinner, along with seven others who also graduated from the UW MBA Program.  I met some of them for the first time.  All are very nice chaps.  We had a great time reminiscing about the program and catching up on how the UW Business School has changed since we graduated.  We also decided to form an official alumni association chapter in Korea.  The university, particularly the business school, has a very strong connection with Korea.  Each year, the business school’s executive program hosts dozens of executives from Korean companies such as SK Corporation and LG that send some of their best mid-level managers to the UW Business School for additional training.  The UW’s Executive Education Program is one of the best executive business programs in the United States.  Korea has a large number of UW alumni, and once a year many of them get together for an event.  The local chapter is not well organized, and last night we decided to form an alumni group to raise the profile of the university and energize local alumni.  We’re hoping to have a weekend retreat and host a few events each year, including a large barbeque at our home next Spring.  I’m looking forward to getting involved as much as I can as an expatriate who speaks discombobulated Korean.
Blog Notes:  A big congratulations to the 14-3 Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the Washington Redskins 20-10 on Saturday to advance to the NFC Championship game.  They will face the Carolina Panthers, who beat the Chicago Bears 29-21.  Tough luck to Indianapolis Colts and the two-time defending Superbowl Champion New England Patriots, which both lost this weekend.  If the Seahawks beat the Panthers and advance to the Superbowl, they will face either the Denver Broncos or the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Any dedicated Seahawk fan will be rooting for the Steelers to win, because as former AFC West division rivals, the Broncos routinely beat the Seahawks.  Those days are gone, fortunately!  I’m cautiously optimistic that the Broncos and the Seahawks meet in the Superbowl.  If they do, I think it would be the first time two former division rivals have met in the Superbowl.

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