Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Valentines Day

The girls decided to use their art class to make some valentines boxes and cards. They had lots of fun decorating their boxes about a week before. They also made nice little homemade cards for each other and stuffed them into their boxes. Since Valentines Day happened to also land on the Chinese New Year Holiday, they just sort of combined the two! They used their Valentine boxes to include New Years treats and asked us to put their red envelopes in there too. I asked, "How do you know we plan to give you money?!" Their reply was, "Everyone gives their kids money for Chinese New Year!!" They were right and knew it all too well. They have the best of both worlds. They get to celebrate both Western and Chinese holidays! Chinese New Year is a huge holiday here much like Christmas is in the West. The families all gather together to share meals and fellowship. There are a lot of traditional things that go on as well and the giving of red envelopes containing money, called Hong Bao literally translated "red bag," is just one of those traditions. As a sign of respect, they then bow and thank the parents/grandparents. Darn! We forgot that part! Perhaps that's why they suggested we put it in their boxes! Actually, I think they just wanted the enjoyment and surprise of getting up the next morning to see what all was put in that box all that week leading up to that day (they weren't allowed to peek beforehand)! Although it wasn't a lot, they weren't disappointed when they found money, candy (a special treat--from the US we'd had someone bring over with them on their way), and Valentines cards. It was kinda like a mini Christmas package! They were excited and enjoyed their candy for more than a week. That is except for Hannah, who thought she needed to eat all hers the first day or two, then wanted the other girls' candy when she found out they still had some left!

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