another santa’s story…

Since November my son Edgar already busy asking when will Santa came by, because he wonder if Santa will give him Samsung S4 mini, but my husband (thanks Yudi) told him that Santa don’t give gadget. In the other hand Jasmine said she won’t ask for anything, she just hope Santa will pray for her so she will get good grades for her exams.

That night, I told them to write letters to Santa, and prepared the grass in a shoes and a glass of water. I have bought a pair of shoes for Jasmine, it’s a nice checker flat I found couple days earlier. Edgar has so many things in mind, from basket’s ring, jacket, to pencil case. So I asked my husband to go to the mall that night to find the pencil case.

Lucky that a gathering that supposed to held in our house was canceled, so my husband and I took times to shop, we even stop by at bookshelf, it’s a bookstore but it has cafe and movie on the second floor. Nice place for dating.

When we get home the kids already fall of sleep in front of TV. We told them to move to their rooms, And I saw they have prepared their things under the Christmas tree. I started to wrap the present and write them back. I use uppercase letter since last year my daughter has suspicious about the Santa’s handwriting looks like mine. when I was done, put everything near their shoes and go to sleep.

In the morning I heard the hustle bustle of my kids checking out their present, I purposely stay in bed and waiting…suddenly Edgar came in and told us that he got pencil case from Santa. Jasmine followed, she show me the flats.  They gave me the letter from Santa, and I read them, i can tell Jasmine is suspicious but she said nothing.

It was a good morning i am glad it was successful.

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off to the next life…

Culture, religion and tradition are so fascinating
yesterday I attend the wake of my sister-in-law’s father-in-law
They are Chinesse and they are Budhist
so the way to sent off the dead are a bit strange for me
When we arrived the family were busy folding yellow paper
I was told that it’s going to be his currency in the next life
they also have a mini house made of decorative paper
complete with 2 paper puppet who’s will be his helper there
a mini car, a mini refrigerator, and mini TV all made of paper
They believe those things will be his belongings in heaven
as we eat the refreshment, some peanuts, sunflower seeds and sour candy
my daughter asked me about all this preparation
It’s hard for her to believe all the paper stuff will work in heaven
I told her that’s what they believe and we have to respect it
there is meaning behind everything that we don’t understand
when the body arrived, he was handsome in his black suit
all the sons with their family bow down on the floor to show their respect
Then the family stand in front of the table full of food and other things
They light up stick incense and say a pray for the journey of their father
I think even though it’s different for every religion
but we all believe there is a life after death
and we want it to be better than what we have on earth
so we all make some preparation…

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keeping a tradition…

Two years ago I wrote about the Santa Tradition in my family @ And I continue this to my children because the magic and mystery of Santa was so beautiful to me. Last year my daughter said “Mom, I think Santa’s handwriting is just like yours” She was Grade 5 at that time. I thought “O No! she knew the secret” but I didn’t say anything, because I want to keep this at least until she’s 12. That was the time I found out the true of “Santa” in my family.
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Last night I told them “I think this is the night Santa will come” usually we prepared things either the 4th or 5th December. Then my husband and I left for a meeting. When we come home late at night, near the Christmas tree already 2 shoes filled with grass and 2 glasses of water for Santa’s reindeers (horse I was told when I was a child). Also 2 letters: Jasmine said she wants books of Hannah Montana and Edgar said he want shoes no 36.
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Last year we really lavished them with great presents, school bags and shoes just what they need. But I’ve been out of job for a year and after I discuss with my husband, we decided to give them simple stuff. In fact we got an event last Saturday and they got present from Santa, it was a comic book for Jasmine and a sunday school bag for Edgar. That was what they want last week.
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The glorious moment is in the morning when they woke up and realized they have missed Santa (just like me, they try to stay up late so they can catch Santa). Then they wonder what will they got. They run to the Christmas tree, found out the grass are gone and the glasses are empty and there is present next to their shoes. Took it and open it, I was in my bedroom listening to their conversation. To tell you the truth they were dissapointed because didn’t get what they want. My Son even asked my husband if Santa will pass again tonight because he want to try his luck the 2nd time. I didn’t left any notes like last year (learning from what my daughter said), but I got a plan to explain why they didn’t get what they want.
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Why I keep this tradition because deep down in my heart even as an adult convinced that there is a nice present wait for me when I try hard to be a good person…

angpao…

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.

angpao…oh…angpao