So it’s Valentines Day on Sunday AND it’s Chinese New Year. Not that I’m a BIG celebrator of either Holiday, BUT
1. When you have Littles, you can’t ignore that it’s Valentine’s Day
2. Celebrating other holidays can be a fun learning experience and add a little spice to the dinner scene.
3. In our family, it also gives us a theme for our February birthday dinner. February is the one month out of the year that my husband dreads. A whole ton of birthdays fall in February for us….2 of my hubby’s brothers, his mom, me and now Hayden…..plus Valentine’s Day. So we usually all celebrate with one big family dinner over Super Bowl. But this year, we are doing it on Valentine’s Day/Chinese New Year!
So Sunday is going to be a FULL holiday day for us. We’re starting it out celebrating Valentines Day with Heart shaped pancakes, whipped cream and strawberries (because that TOTALLY says LOVE)! I plan on using the AWESOME Blueberry Pancake Recipe and omitting the blueberries in order to top with Strawberries
There really is no better pancake recipe than this one.
Not that I’m biased
And then we will end the day with our family eating yummy Chinese food (what better party to throw than one you can order all the food relatively inexpensively AND not have dishes to wash???)
Plus Chinese New Year is all about the color red, and doesn’t that go with Valentine’s Day??
See where I’m going with all of this? FUN and EASY!
Here’s a brief tutorial for you from Wikipedia so you don’t need to dust off the school books:
Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.
People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
So call up your favorite Chinese restaraunt, order up a feast and invite friends and family over. Here’s a few thoughts:
- You can make paper bag luminaries to welcome people. All you need is a paper lunch bag, thick black pen, candle and something to weight the bag. Google “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity” Chinese symbols, then duplicate the symbol on the bag with the pen. It doesn’t really matter if its perfect or not. Feel free to add a heart or 2 if you want…
- Make paper lanterns with your Littles to decorate the house with:
- Serve a Woo-Woo Cocktail to the adults. (Not necessarily Chinese, but it’s red, it’s yummy, and it’s called a Woo-Woo and every good event needs a good cocktail!) BTW – I’m adding a disclosure. I’ve served this cocktail MANY times…it has GREAT powers….use/drink wisely and be ready, it can lead to children…
- I plan on serving chocolate fondue for dessert. Again not really a Chinese New Year treat, but a fun twist and definitely one for Valentine’s Day. Serve with fresh strawberries and a big bowl of fortune cookies that come with your dinner order (again EASY!!)!
- Make a heart wreath for your door. It celebrates Valentine’s Day AND gives you the red door for Chinese New Year.
- Have a red take home envelope for each person to open the next day and fill it with a “little fortune” to bless their New Year.
- Google Chinese Astrology and let everyone figure out what their Chinese Zodiac sign is….always a fun party conversation!
Most of all, keep the day stress free for yourself! It’s all about having fun!
Make it a day filled with LOVE, good fortune, health and longevity!
Have a great weekend! See you back on Monday!
(FYI – I’m still working on next weeks meal plan, it will post Monday…)