What do you remember about Chinese New year when you were young? Or rather what do you look forward to Chinese New Year when you were young?
New clothes, new shoes, new bags, everything is new. Most importantly is new money! Ang baos (red packets) to collect wherever you visit.
Do you remember the preparation required to be done before the celebration when you were young? Maybe not.
Many times we were all taking things as it goes. In other words, taking things for granted. When Chinese New Year is approaching, we expect everything to be new and clean. Now that we have become parents, do we teach our kids the meaning behind this festive occasion? So how do we make Chinese New Year meaningful for kids?
1. Do housework together
When smarties were young (although they are not very old now), they were taught about this festive occasion. In the midst of spring cleaning, I would prepare a very simple learning kit for them to learn about the Chinese zodiacs. You can read about it here. As for last year, we did a craft using recycled materials: Our little chicky craft for CNY. Now that they are old enough to help out with housework, they were being tasked to help out in spring cleaning. Yes, the most important and toughest thing to do before Chinese New Year other than buying new stuff and collecting ang baos.
2. Teaching them responsibility
Not only did they vacuumed and mopped the floor. They cleaned their own desks, toys, and bookshelves too. In between cleaning sessions, they were given break time. No, I didn’t abuse them but while having breaks, they would take the chance to make some oranges for our family and grandparents for decorations.
Taa daa! Here are the oranges they made! Are they cute?
3. The art of giving
After they have completed their tasks. They actually asking what else they could help out with. They were definitely getting the hang of it. Hence, they were assigned another important task and that was making cornflakes cookies for our guests tonight. It was an easy peasy recipe for smarties to take on and they had fun with a little bickering though. Not forgetting, sneaking some chocolate chips into their mouths. Nonetheless, smarties understand that to make things for someone, they have to make with love. Although they had some bickering during the process, they made the cookies with care and lots of love.
4. Making effort to make something extraordinary
We had our reunion dinner early instead of on the eve of Chinese New Year. Usually, smarties will be waiting for food to be ready but this time, smarties were involved in the food preparation as well. They helped out with preparing the yusheng (also known as lo hei) for everyone. They couldn’t wait to start tossing!
Super love their creativity here by making a dog because is the year of a dog! How many marks do you give for this plate of woof woof yusheng?
5. Having meaningful conversation
Finally, it was the time for reward where we all had a sumptuous meal with everyone in the family enjoying good food and laughter together. Smarties seated together with everyone else had a good chat over food. At the same time, they learned about the significance of reunion dinner from the adults especially from their grandparents who would tell them stories about their younger days.
6. Living in the moment
Before bedtime, I asked smarties how they felt with all the preparation for the festive occasion. Even though it was tiring, they enjoyed the moments spent as a family doing housework together. They had a great sense of satisfaction as they were able to contribute to the family by helping out. It was heartwarming to hear that from the kids. At the same time, I expressed my appreciation by giving them a super big hug and a kiss each before they dozed off.
Alrighty, now you know how we spent our days preparing for Chinese New Year and reunion dinner. We hope you had a great time with your kids as well. Over here, we would like to wish everyone a festive and happy woof woof Chinese New Year!