Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year

I've been busy puttering around, making a few odd crafts here and there for the past few weeks . . . a baby blanket, a new necklace . . . . and working on a new quiet book (which is taking longer than I thought - or I'm just slower than I used to be).

But among all the busyness, I decided it would be fun to celebrate the Chinese New Year with my little family. I feel a little experienced in this area since I did get to spend some time (not nearly enough!) in China a year and a half ago. I can't believe it has been that long ago now. And there have been so many great ideas floating through blogland that I just couldn't resist. We celebrated today (or as son #2 has taken to saying: We "partied down" today - Chinese New Year style).

So amongst an excellent Chinese dinner at a great restaurant a fair distance from our house (that we rarely ever take the time to drive to) - and having to drive home in a nice winter snow storm, we did a few fun crafty things. I thought I would post the links here so that I can find them again in future years.

#1 - Dragon masks: it is the year of the dragon. Skip to my Lou, guest posting at Alphamom, made these super cute dragon masks. The boys loved to color them and wear them all over the house tonight.

#2 - Red envelopes: it is traditional to give money to others as a gift or a wish for good luck in a red envelope. While I ended up finding the "real thing" at a local Asian market that recently opened, the Silly Pearl has these super cute ones to make yourself. We made these too. The boys each got $1 in their envelopes. Son #1 instantly decided it should go to the bank to be deposited in his college fund. Son #2 had other ideas but reluctantly gave in to "brother-pressure" (otherwise known as peer pressure) and gave his bill to dad to deposit at the bank.

Other things we found at the local Asian market - super cute dragon ornaments that the boys have hanging with their other good luck charms I brought them back from China, and also some Chinese zodiac charms. They were born in the year of the dog and the rat so they have these charms in their rooms now too. Oh - and of course, these super touristy but fun little hats with the long braid running down the backs. They've hardly taken them off their heads today. I couldn't let them go in the Chinese restaurant with them on - - - and they were very disappointed.
But the Japanese "Pokey" sticks (cookie sticks dipped in chocolate) I bought at the Asian market seemed to make up for it and ended our night perfectly! Happy New Year!

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