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Virtual face time talks replace year-end gatherings amid COVID-19 pandemic
Updated: 2020-12-31 07:32:06 KST
The holiday season is looking quite different this year as the coronavirus continues to flare across the country.
And, like many others, a family here is sending their season's greetings online.

Almost all year-end gatherings have now been replaced with virtual face time talks.
Many South Koreans are spending time with just their immediate family, avoiding to hold big events where people usually get together for dinner or drinks.
This comes with new anti-virus measures already in place, which include banning in-person gatherings of five or more until January 3rd.

"Last year, I had a lot of dinner appointments with colleagues, and a couple of year-end parties with friends. But this year, none of this is happening. People just send messages, call or video call instead."

But the pandemic hasn't stopped people from getting into the holiday spirit.
Kim's family didn't miss stringing up lights on their Christmas tree and so have others.

According to South Korean retailers, sales of holiday ornaments rose in the past few weeks.
From November to December, sales of Christmas trees jumped more than a hundred percent compared to the same period last year.
Demand for table decorations such as candle holders and wine accessories have also been equally high as more people treat themselves to a nice meal at home.

Like many others who miss spending time with relatives, this little boy hopes to get together with his cousins again.

"I'm sad I couldn't meet my cousins. Once the coronavirus pandemic ends, I want to travel with them and go swimming."

Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
Reporter : shmin@arirang.com