Coming from a Chinese family, I've always looked forward to this highly rewarding holiday. The point of the festivities of the new year include celebrating a happy and fortuitous year and hoping for another year of good health and prosperity. The lion dances and firecrackers serve to create a lively environment where everyone is happy and active. Also, there's the large family gatherings and tasty food.

This year though, the holiday landed on a weekday and it isn't observed in the United States. Education comes first and the long trip home rendered me unable to return to celebrate this holiday and to collect the red envelopes...

Although I'm not able to participate in the highly anticipated activity, my family would accept them on my behalf. Now I'm home to check how much I received! I might sound like a fiend for money but as I've gotten older, the total amount that I receive seem to have dwindled.

By tradition, it is usually the married couples who give out red envelopes and those who are young and single are the receivers. When you think of it, though I get money from family and friends, my parents are returning the gesture it is almost the equivalent of a large allowance. Having many children may be a benefit??

My Chinese New Year red envelopes accumulated: $270

Can't ask more of this holiday. With age comes maturity, so for me, this holiday is gradually drifting towards a more cultural value than a financial benefit.


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