Sunday, March 30, 2008

#34 Saving wrapping paper


The purchasing of wrapping paper and ribbon are a few of the things that Korean Mom's consider "waste money"(see # ). Instead buying these things, they will get them for 'free'. When a Korean Mom opens a present, she will first admire and attempt to salvage the wrapping paper and any accouterments like ribbon or plastic flowers dangling on the outside of the package. It will take her 30 minutes to open a present, because she is attempting to do as little damage as possible to the precious wrapping paper she already plans to reuse two or three times. Why two or three? Because she will re gift the paper at a later time to you, then as you try and open your present, she will forcibly rip it from your clutches, open it for you, then carefully fold it, and take it back home to use again. If you ever tear open a package in her sight and create such havoc that none of the wrapping paper can be salvaged, she will make a sound similar to that of a wild animal dying ending in a sharp,"aaigoh!". Do not be surprised if a Korean Mom gives you a gift wrapped in the very same wrapping paper you gave her 10 years ago. They also do not care if the wrapping paper says "Merry Christmas!". They will wrap your birthday presents in paper decorated with fir trees and give them to you. They will also save gift boxes. Although a Korean Mom hands you a gift wrapped with "Happy Birthday" paper, and packaged in a Bloomingdale's box, do not be confused...no, it is not your birthday, and no, the Chinese herbal medicine is not from Bloomy's. You cannot return the item for a full refund at the concierge, believe me, I have tried.

15 comments:

Jenn said...

You are absolutely fantastic... I love this blog.

moolgishin said...

Ah-hahaha this is so true. I now find myself doing it too. >.<

Joyce said...

so truee hahaahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

hahahah this is so true. My mom and (my dad too) has been saving all the used wrapping papers as far as i can remember and they always recycle them. They dont really care if its christmas paper or some kinda birthday paper, they always reuse the papers and they hate throwing away the used wrapping papers.

LOL!!!

.koo. said...

i just found a piece of used wrapping paper my mom made me save. it's the "cutest one ever because it's from Korea town."

Anonymous said...

aaai-go! lol

no way.. hysterical.

you perfectly... to a T, described my mom.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I'm Indian. This sounds just like my mother, she actually used to store wrapping paper in flat sheets under our matresses, no joke.

Anonymous said...

I finally realized it's sort of taboo to buy and wrap gifts for xmas for children or parents at all. "waste money"...gives me much insight now. Thanks for that. We were told not to buy presents for my beau's sister's kids last year. Now I know why. Same for her. I've read somewhere else, cash is the preferred present in Korea. No wrapping required. Well after all that pickiness - she gets nothing for Christmas. Nothing to complain about now.

Anonymous said...

Actually, as cheap as my parents are they didn't really do this but I do. But I think it should be commended not criticized. Wrapping paper is more than a waste of money, it's a waste of resources. With the way the environment is going, wrapping paper is killing trees uselessly. I like the gift bags that can better be reused and don't forget to save the tissue paper! Especially if you have kids, you can use the tattered pieces for art projects. I hope someday wrapping paper becomes extinct. Reusable gift boxes and gift bags are the way to go.

Anonymous said...

As a non-Korean who loves the culture, I applaud your blog. Thanks to a friend, I found out about it and love what I'm learning from here. Keep writing!! :)

parksalot said...

my mother would wrap my textbooks in inside out, cut up, paper grocery bags. surprisingly, i liked it.

ngf said...

oh crap, it's all in the attic! (because i was tired of staring at it in the house, year-round)

is it going to be used? no...
do we keep buying more? why not?...

Heather *IsaBella and Harrison's Mommy* said...

Yes, wrapping paper is a waste of money! But nowadays, with the outside of the present being a present in itself, you have to spend a fortune on the decorations or you look cheap! Cash is so good for this reason... I find myself saving wrapping paper too, but whenever my kid's open up presents, I encourage them to rip through it like animals so that I can't save anymore scraps of paper... Ahhhh...

Love always,
Heather

tellos said...

Also true for Swiss mom..

Anonymous said...

Chiyo, I have to share with you the wrath our entire family has incurred. Our Korean mom, is the dictionary picture of your blog. Her poor daughter in law, at Christmas, was desperately trying to find ways to please her new mother in law, having already endured months of criticism about every facit of her life, home, etc. Being the techie she is, innocently googled "what korean moms like". Well, your blog popped up first, and as the entire family of half Koreans and married to half Koreans, were doubled over laughing, there she sat with a small smile, but obviously disturbed look on her face. We've now had months and months of #5, her non-Korean husband calls all the time, saying "my life is miserable,"mom's still upset about the internet at Christmas". And the latest, her son's first child- first, ultrasound found it was to be a girl, then when born, look s exactly like the blond, petite, blue eyed mother. No dark hair, no asian look, nothing like her son whatsoever...........It's going to be a long childhood for this one. Thanks for the laughs, we all hide out from her around the laptop and never mention the internet exists.