3 Weeks ago, I decided to put away the Christmas decoration around the house. I have to say good bye to the artificial Christmas tree and all the ornaments. I put them nicely in a box, and at the same time asked my husband to take out the Lantern we have bought some years ago for our Chinese New Year decoration. Although I am not chinese but I marry one. My husband Yudi came from Chinese background, but the family has been living in Indonesia for a long time. It’s interesting because when his parents were around they didn’t celebrate it, but since we’re married I am the one who make a big deal of it. What I mean by that is: by decorating the house with lantern, took out some china that has chinese design or writing on it, and get my kids to color some pictures about Chinese New Year I got from the internet. I also make sure that my husband will set the time to meet his brother and sisters and have dinner or lunch together.
Last year, Chinese New year was a day before the valentine’s Day. So on Saturday, we all wear pink, went to have dinner at one place, and the next day we (in red costume) went to met his family and had lunch in the down town area. Like the tradition the adults prepared ang pao, some money put in a red envelope to be given to the children. My kids always waiting for this part, because they will get some money to buy things they like.
This year we were invited by Ai (my mother-in-law’s sister). We usually met at her house on Christmas, but last Christmas, she and her family went on vacation, so she invite us for Chinese New year. We gather at her house and had lunch together. She such a nice aunt for yudi’s family since my husband has lost his parent, she’s the only one who live in this city so she take the responsibility to look after us. After eating the adult started to give out angpao to the kids, they were so happy. I love to see the smile in their face. We took some picture of them, then I was busy taking picture of the adults. Suddenly my brother-in-law say something and everybody laugh, I turned around and see both of my kids were on the floor, the red envelope were all over them and they were counting the money they received. OMG its so embarrassing! It’s not polite to do that, usually we should keep it in a bag and open it when we’re home. My husband try to make some excuse, but I went to them and asked them to put away the money.
Apart from the joy of receiving angpao, I think this is the best time to teach the kids about money management. My kids tend to buy stupid things like candy that will ruin their appetite as well as their teeth, cheap toys by the street that easily broken, or card game that they will get bore in 2 days. So I gave them choices either to put their money in saving or buy something they really need. The trick works, my son end up buy a pair of sandal and a pair of shoes. My daughter bought “Love and Berry” card album to put her collections, and a pair of shoes as well. Last night my husband explained that we’re not only received but we also gave money to other kids, so we lack some money to pay bills. My kids are kind enough to share the rest of their money to us.