Photo source: Annie & her Point & Shoot camera, raw out of the camera.


“Happy Chinese New Year!” I said this morning.

“No, Happy Vietnamese New Year!” Hy corrected me. : -)

Alright, I guess we can settle w/ Happy Lunar New Year to all who came from different background.

According to .. urg, Chinese Culture?, this year is Year of Ox.

I am not sure whether other culture shares the animal sign. During this time of the year, I always miss the new year celebration ritual from my childhood memory. This is the time where endless amount of delicious food are piled up in the house (candies, sweet rice cakes, soy sauced melon seeds, turnip cakes, fish, dumplings ..etc). The house smells new and clean. Part of the new year ritual is ‘removing of the old, exchange w/ the new’, so we, the kids, were always assigned tasks for the annual house deep cleaning exercise. I guess one of the main reason for the house cleaning is during the new year, there would be lots of guests visiting. You don’t want your house look like a mess.

I don’t particularly enjoy the guests as a kid, because most are distant relatives, parent’s coworkers or business partners. What I do like though, is the red envelop they brought w/ them. All you need to do is, smile (or put on that fake one) and said “Uncle/Aunt, Happy New Year, wishing you make big money.” Then, you get a pile of cash (not bad of a deal huh?). I, the book worm, always used big percentage of the cash in the bookstore. So, after or even during New Year time, I would get new stock of books of my choosing. I remembered loving the smell of new books, and the excitement of the wonderful magical kingdoms that’s awaiting my entrance upon turning the cover.

Yesterday evening, Hy and I picked up two new bookshelves we ordered from Crate and Barrel. The down season for weddings is only time we can catch up decorating the house. I am trying to set up a reading space w/ bookshelves, cozy seating area w/ lightings. We are starting w/ the bookshelves and slowing building the whole area. Around midnight, Hy set up both bookshelves, then I spent about an hour putting part of my book collection in there.

This morning, when I walked into the room, I was really happy. The books are looking good. Reminds me again my childhood joy of reading, brought me right back to the joy of New Year season.

Hy and I will head out to relatives house’ later to hand out Red Envelops. I can’t help but wonder (sounding like Carrie Bradshaw), which and what little child’s dream will we enable tonight?