My Christmas fears have been assuaged. I've received an email from work about the recent rumours. It appears that there has been a bit of miscommunication, misunderstanding and something has been lost in translation. For us, the foreign teachers attendance at the Christmas Day party is not mandatory. Encouraged but not mandatory.
That's a weight off my mind. Christmas is sacrosanct for many a Westerner (as the most important day of the year), especially those living away from their family and these days I treasure my weekends away from the workplace. Who knows I may even go but I really doubt it. I want to spend the day with my wife with nothing work related in my mind. I bet the Korean staff still have to go though.