Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Like Christmas Shopping

This afternoon, I went to Home Plus, which was a mistake since today is Sunday. There were so many people there shopping. These were mostly families. In Korea, many people have to work on Saturday, so Sunday is the day that they can spend time together as a family. Most weddings in Korea are on Sunday for that reason. I imagine that part of the reason that there were so many shoppers is that Solar (Lunar New Year's) is next weekend. This holiday and Chuseok are the big gift-giving holidays. Christmas gifts are given just to children and they do not receive nearly the number of presents that American children get. In Home Plus and E-Mart, some of the workers wear traditional Korean dress at work because they are the consultants for the Solar gifts. The traditional gifts given for these two holidays are practical gifts, not like some of the worthless, dust-collecting junk that people in America give. Fruit boxes are common as well as packages of SPAM or assorted sized of anchovies. Other gifts that people give include boxes that have toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lotion in one package. In one part of E-Mart, there are lots of socks in boxes. When you see the ones that you want to buy for somebody, just pick up the box that is already wrapped and ready to go. Rolls of wrapping paper are not very common here because any wrapped gift that somebody would give is already wrapped prior to purchase. The gifts that people give here are not ones that will just end up in a storage unit somewhere. People can wear or eat their gifts and if they are not wearable or edible, then they can use it to stay clean.

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