Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chinese New Year Happenings

After picking up Emma from school (Dennis took off from work), we all went to our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Ate good, of course, and then gave Emma her red envelope...her face says it all...
 She couldn't wait to feed the fish, so our friend, Mandy, brought Emma two cups to feed these little big guys ;)
 goofy shot of the three of us...
 And yes...she finally decided she was ready to wear her Bama shirt!  We tried not to make a big deal...but too cute!
 So my dilemma...I really wanted to bring something to her school...but then my first thought was...is that singling her out.  She, like most 3 1/2 year olds, are not telling you exactly what they are thinking.  I went ahead and bought a big container of fortune cookies and so glad I did...she was sooo excited.

And apparently so were the teachers and the rest of her school...they put another rug out just for all things for Chinese New Year...they had so much interest from the kids, they had to print China flags for them to color.  
I asked Emma if she wanted to bring some of her books about the celebration.  She helped me pick them out and she also had told the teachers about the picture of me and Dennis at the Great Wall of China and wanted to bring that too!  Okay...so after she fell asleep, I made a really quick book of our one-day stay in Beijing...
 I showed her the book I made for her and her class and she just smiled...
 I added a little wikipedia info about some things for the teachers to help explain...
 I used very inexpensive cardstock from Hobby Lobby and then bound it with the Zutter.

 She was so excited to share her favorite books...
but I also found out each day that she all of a sudden blossomed even more than she had been this last month.  She helped pass out the fortune cookies, she was telling the teachers things they didn't know, and was so excited everyday.  I was shocked because she and so happy to see she really is into the Chinese New Year.  We struggle with that because "we" celebrate it because we are now an American-Chinese family.  And we know that she is really an all-American girl who will probably wonder, as she gets older, why are we celebrating this holiday when I'm American.   

I am so excited that she is excited because she should be proud.  She should know her heritage..."our" heritage...we are in this together.  We want her to be proud of being born in China, of having her heritage there.  Chairman Mao was born in her same province...how awesome to share with her these little details.
 Next year, I'll be better prepared and now know that she IS excited and wants to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her school and friends.  So by the time, I got to Party City, all of the red envelopes were gone.  I bought some inexpensive red paper again, used the Silhouette, and made our own.  Emma helped!
 The girl is good with the glue gun!
 Kept them pretty simple, but for the first time, I showed her the special stamp we had made for her with her name in English and in Chinese while we were in China.  Her face lit up.
 I used the Cantonese and the two Mandarin ways to say Happy Chinese New Year with three different fonts, and copied and pasted over and over again until the document was covered.  The teachers appreciated this so they could know the different ways to say it...and Emma was proud to tell them that I did this.
 And lots and lots of chocolate coins...the kids loved their little red envelope with these.
More celebrating going on this weekend!

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7 comments:

  1. LOVE.THAT.FACE!!!

    you did a great job celebrating Chinese New Year! I think it would be a wonderful annual family and friends celebration!

    and the mini! perfect!

    : .)

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  2. wow this looks like so much fun! Chinese New Year is one of my favourite celebrations. In Melbourne it is pretty big because we have a big Asian population. It's so much fun, so loud and the Chinese are always so happy to share it with non Asians. You are doing a wonderful thing for your daughter by keeping her connected to her Chinese heritage.

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  3. This post put such a smile on my face. I love how you are giving Emma the opportunity to celebrate her birth culture. CNY is such a happy holiday too. Our wee lass received her first red packet this holiday. She was very excited about the $2 it contained!

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  4. Such a beautiful family celebration - it brought tears to my eyes! Happy New Year! :)

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  5. This is so cool! How awesome that you are helping her to learn her heritage and it's neat that she is blossoming at school because of it! The minibook you made is super cute!

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  6. Oh my goodness Patricia! Looks like you all had a wonderful Chinese New Year!!!! I am so happy that Emma's teachers loved her celebration so much! That really warms my heart! My fav photo is the one of you and Emma holding your glue guns!!!! Start her off right - yeah!!!!!!! TFS!

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