Koreans are all about boxed gift sets during the major holidays. Supermarkets display all sorts of different options, ranging from toothpaste or cooking oil sets, to the notorious artery-clogging SPAM gift sets.
(photo taken from here)
Yes, apparently, spam meat can be elegantly packaged into desirable presents. Classy. That’s like giving someone you care about, the gift of heart-disease! Thankfully, I don’t know anyone who has given or received the gift of spam.
I personally think packages of fruit is one of the best gifts to give or receive. Foreigners might find the idea of presenting your host with a box of fresh produce weird (sort of like doing someone else’s grocery shopping), but it’s really common here. There’s something so life-affirming about this Korean custom, and I hope it never dies.
Another common holiday gift choice is a box of traditional Korean treats. This year, one family we know kindly gave us a box of various snacks. My favorite was the black bean ‘bar.’ Very nutty and crunchy!
So what kinds of lunar new year gifts did you give or receive?