Chuseok gifts

I was wandering around in E-Mart two days before the Korean holiday of Chuseok. (This would be like being in SuperTarget two days before Thanksgiving or maybe even Christmas.)

I was first surprised because there were dozens of women throughout the store dressed in traditional Korean clothing, called Hanbok.

Occasionally, I’ve seen women wearing these at a wedding hall or cultural performance, but in this case, I realized, they were sales representatives for various Chuseok gift lines.

Last year I received toothpaste and soap from my employer and a small suitcase-sized box of dried seaweed from friends. This year, I received a gift certificate for a restaurant. Cool!

Boxed Chuseok gifts were hot sellers at E-Mart that day, as shoppers filled their carts with a diverse selection of items:

  • Alcohol: Korean traditional soju or Makgeolli, or Jack Daniels or Chivas whiskey
  • Drinks: Korean ginseng tea, aloe vera juice, or Minute Maid or Del Monte brand orange & grape juice sets
  • Coffee & Tea: Expensive loose green tea sets or instant Maxim or Taster’s choice coffee
  • Oil: Grapeseed oil bottles
  • Herbs: Fresh ginseng roots in boxed sets, set on an elegant red or gold cloth
  • Canned food: Boxed sets of tuna or spam, or combinations of SPAM and dried seaweed packets artfully arranged
  • Fresh fruit: Boxes sets of three large peaches, or a whole flat of purple grapes


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