This Wednesday is Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) and a big part of holiday is giving gifts. Typically if you are employed you would give gifts to your parents and extended family. Elders are more likely to receive an envelope of money while other relatives are given beautifully wrapped presents. While taking the train home this week from school so many passengers are carrying Chuseok gifts. I love the way they are packaged. A lot of care is given to the presentation of these gifts.
Believe it or not Spam sets are a very common gift. Love it or hate it sets like this can be found at everywhere to the corner store to giant mega marts. I haven't experienced much spam in Korean cuisine, but it does make an appearance every so often.
Lucky for me another tradition of Chuseok is that employers give their employees gifts. My school gave us teachers this wine set. I was ecstatic! Wine here is usually very expensive and is often very, very sweet. To find a cab/sav and a merlot in the box made me very happy.
My biggest dilemma was what to give to Kwang's 2 sets of aunts and uncles. Ginseng, seaweed, cooking oils and honey are all popular Chuseok gifts. Kwang was of no real help so I consulted our friend Sunjeong. We went to Costco to look for something special and she made the excellent point that it would be a little strange or lack luster for me, a westerner, to give a typical Korean gift. So we decided that Pepperidge Farm cookies would be an excellent representative of my American self. This box comes with 4 packages so Kwang's aunts and uncles can share them with their neighbors and brag about how their nephew's American girlfriend gave them these for Chuseok.