Monday, March 17, 2008

#13 Not wasting money


Korean moms believe that most gifts (especially flowers, chocolates, and other items of indulgence) are "waste money!" They prefer gifts to be a bundle of cash that they could squirrel away in their sock drawer and never spend. This stash is moderatly depleted during holidays like New Years or birthdays when they will hand out crisp 20 dollar bills to kids. Gift certificates are also considered wasting money. Korean moms typically take one step into the shop and declare, "Nothing to buy!" and "Too expensive!", and the gift card will never see the light of day again.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL this is very true.. my mom also prefers cash or gifts cards but she never use those gift cards and sometimes those gift cards expire!! LOL

and yes she does not like chocolates nor flowers but u know that is very cultural. koreans dont like those kinda gifts which are not practical. and not many koreans are into chocolates unilke americans. i myself dont like chocolates either

Anonymous said...

My korean mil flat out told us that she wants cash. What's stupid is that she gives us cash too. We told her, "what's the point of just exchanging cash????" She still told us she wanted just cash and nothing else. Also, I have never encountered anyone who was so rude about criticizing gifts right to the gift giver's face. My mil always opens a gift, makes a sour face, and then says something that I would interpret to be not-so-nice in korean. She seems upset that our gifts are not fur coats and all expense paid european tours. Talk about entitlement!

June said...

Hey, out with the bitterness! We may hate that our moms think that they have better taste than everyone else, but they are usually right. Giving her cash may be the only present that you can give her, if you don't have the same taste

Anonymous said...

I have to say I would definitely prefer cash than most presents I've received in my lifetime. Besides I thought this site was about whining about our moms in love of them, not such hate. Maybe you need to understand her better. That said, my mom who I always thought was as stereotypical Korean mom as you can get LOVES chocolate and flower and gifts. She's such a little girl at heart.

parkingathome said...

I'm going to have to point out a mishmash with this and the children moving away issue. My mother in law will spend tons of money to send us food in the mail. Fruit, nuts, sesame seeds, vegetables from their garden, and of course the Korean version of ramen noodles. I think she thinks there aren't grocery stores where her son now lives.

Sue said...

I have to say, this is one of the many traits I inherited from my Korean mom. When it comes to givin or gettin, nothing beats cold, hard, cash (and a bag of oranges).

KickinFamily said...

Not Korean in any way shape or form other than learning the language and following the kick-a$$ Korean golfers, but I agree with the cash sentiment... As my step-dad always said "Cash is never tacky or out of style." :)

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

One of the best gifts I've ever given her (other than the obvious CASH!) is - Maxi Pads... It was for her birthday or mother's day but it was a very practical gift that she needed anyway! And I got to wrap it up and put a bow on it... She still talks about what a funny and memorable gift that was... Of course, now that she is without a uterus, it's back to CASH ONLY and in our family, the money literally gets passed around... "My daughter gave me $1000 for my birthday!" Then, she puts in $10,000 for my kid's college fund and brags about that!

Love always,
Heather

Michele L Meyer said...

LOL - I love this. I thought I was alone in this sentiment. My mother always says she does need anything when I ask her. I am glad there are other children of Korean mothers (fathers) out there with the same issues.

I hate to give cash - I wish some moms and dads would give real ideas of what nice gifts are.

Any parents out there with some great ideas?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. My Korean mother's birthday was last week. My boyfriend wanted to get her flowers. Had to tell him two times not to do it and so did my American father! So instead he gave her a card, a new pair of gloves for the winter, and a $50 bill. She loved it! So glad to know that others experience the same situation. :D

sandra said...

hahaha

Anonymous said...

A very delayed comment, but in an act of desperation for the upcoming Mother's Day, I typed "mothers day idea for Korean moms" into Google and of course landed on one of my fave sites. This year, I didn't want to repeat one of the 3 gifts that have gotten positive feedback from my mom: brunch at the Ritz (half the time she complains it's too expensive, yet she loves it), gift cert to her local Korean spa or flowers. She complains that flowers are too expensive,too, but she really likes when I arrange them myself. In fact, if I buy them, I get, "these are too expensive, next time, do it yourself, you are good at that." But the last time I did this for my grandmother (at my mom's request), she took one look at them and replied, "next time, can you put some white in there or something?"

Auto Title Loans said...

Dare you ever tell a KM that by not using the gift card would be a waste of someone else's money? I mean, if you think about it logically, it's kind of true. However, I'm not versed in KM tradition and how bringing that up would go...
Ava

Rear-View Camera said...

Haha, this is true!! I thought it was just my mom, good to know it's ALL Korean moms. No matter what my family members get her for presents she ALWAYS find something wrong with it or calls it a waste of money. We try our best but sometimes we just don't know what to get her, then she gets hurt she didn't get as much stuff as some of us do at Xmas.

Anonymous said...

My mom says "Cash can be saved for a rainy day, Material things just rot away"

Anonymous said...

My Mom's birthday( May 9) is the day before Mothers day and I always think that I have to live up to her expectation and she loves to pick out the gift. My mom loves jewelry and last year i got her Lancome bb cream stuff and she loved it but before shes kept on nagging about how expensive it is!!!