Receiving Korean New Year’s Gifts

People are being really nice to us this year.  I guess since this New Year holiday that is coming on Tuesday is not actually our holiday since we are Americans, I don’t expect people to get me a gift and include me.  However, we are really being included this year.

My daughter’s gift of seaweed from her boss.
My son in law’s gift of seaweed from his boss.

I already told you that my daughter brought home a large box full of seaweed that her boss gave her.  My Korean son in law also brought home a large box of seaweed that his boss gave him.  Usually, bosses are the only people I have gotten Korean New Year’s gifts from, but it is not so this year.

One of the gifts I got from the Korean preacher’s wife today.
The other gift I got from the Korean preacher’s wife today.

After church today, the preacher’s wife handed me two gifts, a package of facials, and a box of toner and other nice things to use on my face.  She handed one to my daughter too.  It was very sweet for her to think of us, but she wasn’t the only one baring gifts today.

Joseph, my oldest friend in Korea and his wife, Maya who used to live at my house, invited us to go home with them after church.  They actually had plans for us all to sit in their apartment and have tea and a nice visit, but the elevator was broken.  I have never seen an elevator broken in Korea before. This was actually the first time in 13 years.  The problem is that Joseph and Maya live on the 12th floor.  They couldn’t imagine someone with legs like mine climbing 12 flights of stairs, and I couldn’t either.  Everyone knows that I am just lucky not to be on a walker anymore and don’t take stairs well.  When I walk around, no one can tell anymore that I ever had a leg problem, but there is still a slight problem there, so taking 12 flights of stairs was just out for me.

The gift I got from Joseph and Maya today.

Maya said to wait and she would bring a gift down.  She walked up 12 flights of stairs to get a gift and bring it back to me.  It was a really nice gift. It was meat.  Meat is downright expensive in Korea!  I didn’t expect a gift, and I really didn’t expect something as nice as they gave me.  I didn’t think I was going to be included in any New Year’s celebrations because I usually am not.  I understand that usually the younger people give gifts to the older people, but also the grandparents give gifts of money to the kids.  Joseph and Maya have a little boy who they have called my grandson since he was born, and I thought, “I should have prepared something for him.”  He is just a little guy who hasn’t even begun school, so I opened my purse and gave him 500 won, about fifty cents.  He was thrilled to pieces!!  It seemed like so much money to him!  I am very happy to be included this year!  Usually, the only New Year’s gifts I had received since coming to Korea were from my boss.

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