A Chinese New Year Story

In the past, Chinese New Year had always been a great reminder that single-dom is awesome. For 30 glorious years I blissfully collected these little red magic cash filled packets as I hunted down the elders and newly married couple with the phrase 'Gong Hei Fat Choi'*, which is largely misinterpreted by Chinese children to mean 'Give Me Money'. But this guy came around in August, stripped me of my recipient status and turned me into prey. It was kind of him to give me 2 years to prepare for this day, to be taunted by the younger cousins with their evil grins about how much they looked forward to my upcoming distributions.

So the time has finally come for me to face this day. Now, never had any kid appreciated the red wrapper, for they were only after the jade tone goodness that contained inside, myself included. But now that the tables have turned, I just couldn't let myself go down in history being the stingy lady that gave out chocolate gold coins** instead of cash in ugly envelopes. Instead, I was determined to be the stingy but chic woman that gave out chocolate gold coins in adorable envelopes! With my inexperience and lack of forethought, I went out to the nearest Asian strip mall to look for the ultimate red envelopes that will forever mark me as the only trendy married woman in Chinese history. MUAHAHAHAHAHA.

Failure has never been so clearly defined in my life until that day. Turns out, every Asian store in my little town sold red envelopes, but they all sold the same variety of 5 envelopes and were all horrendously gaudy and just plain butt ugly. I turned to da hubs in distress, and he tried to console me by pointing out that every single red envelope he had received or seen had been equally hideous and figured it was almost part of the tradition.

Frazzled, I searched online for alternatives only to find more ugly ass envelopes. Discouraged, I turned to my mother as a last resort and was offered some ugly (but not ass like) envelopes. Weary, I looked for DIY instructions and encountered more repulsive options.

My determination unwavering, I continued my search and landed at Mushy. At long last, I am saved. I got to printing with some linen paper and began cutting and gluing right away. As I was assembling these babies, I reflected upon how silly this whole process was and it began to sink in that Chinese New Year, my favorite holiday, was around the corner. It was time to bust out the cheery red clothes, lay out candy on the counters, enjoy big family feasts, and welcome the Ox.

I suppose I should suck it up and get to the bank for some crisp new bills. After all, it is a tradition I enjoyed so thoroughly growing up, I just don't have the heart to not keep it up for the littler ones.**

So Happy New Year! And Gong Hei Fat Choi y'all, *I mean it much more literally now a days.

Image and DIY Red Envelope Instructions from Mushy


  1. Thanks so much for linking me! You are super awesome!!
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks the store bought envelopes are a little outdated. Haha!!
    Happy Chinese New Year!!

  2. I love these! Did you give out cash....?

  3. @esb: yeah, there never was doubt about that really, i just like thinking that i have power beyond myself. i seriously considered getting chocolate coins to put in the envelopes along with the bills to trick the kids though...

  4. Those are DEFINITELY the cutest red envelopes I have seen. I definitely have not adopted the tradition of passing out envelopes, but I did host a Chinese new year dinner at my house and made neen go. I figure that counts for something. ;)