I really like being part of a family now that celebrates Chinese New Year. I'm not a big fan New Year's Day the way it's celebrated in America. First of all, I'm a homebody. Second of all, I'm very much a morning person who prefers to go to bed at 9:00 whenever possible. So I haven't gone out or stayed up to welcome the new year for years. I'm pretty sure the last time I did that was in college, but it may even have been high school.
With Chinese New Year, on the other hand, you don't have to stay up late or go to a noisy party. Instead you just wear new clothes, eat good food (for certain values of "good"), visit family, and give each other money. My kind of holiday!
This is Dot with her first lucky money envelope. (We didn't give her any last year, since she was two weeks old and wouldn't really appreciate it.) Lucky money is traditionally given by older/married people to younger/unmarried people, to wish them luck in the coming year. It's just a couple bucks, but it's fun for the kids who get it and it's a nice reminder for me that we really HAVE been lucky (or, rather, blessed) and can afford to share what we have.
Gong Hay Fat Choy!