There are yearly preparations that often forgot until it is almost too late - buying the red envelopes which we fill with candy and joss money to give to her classmates.
We are to start the new year fresh and clean which means getting a haircut (Cowgirl and the Husband are ready but sadly, Moose and I will be entering the new year shaggy and gray!) donning special clothes (thank goodness Cowgirl's dress from last year still fits!) and the biggie - cleaning house.
I was a maniac cleaning the house from top to bottom which, trust me, is a rare occurrence. I had the main floor dusted and mopped in the nick of time. Until I doubled checked online and discovered I was ready a week ahead of schedule! (I swear, since becoming a mother I am never on time with anything and I suppose this year I over-compensated by being ahead of the game.) Cowgirl was furious with me but we needed the extra time to buy more red envelopes and candy for classmates she wanted to include in the celebration.
Last night we smudged the entire house and Cowgirl rang our special Tibetan bell to cleanse the space and make welcoming the environment for helpful, positive spirits and guardians. We lit incense for our ancestors and sent our love and wishes to family we know only through our hearts.
This morning Cowgirl had steamed dumplings, rice and tea for her breakfast - heaven for her. (A normal breakfast might be left over spaghetti, a bean burrito, or her favorite - ramen noodles!) Tomorrow we will attend a special luncheon complete with Lion Dancers and a Dragon parade. This has been our tradition for 7 years now.
We began our family celebrations with the year of the Pig
then the Rat
My year, the Tiger
The Husband's year, the Rabbit seems to be missing (what? a gap in the record?! From what I can tell based upon my massive photo files, someone was ill that year? Or a snowstorm?) But we picked up the following year with The Dragon.
Last year was the year of the Snake and talk about shedding one's skin and bringing in change!
And now this year, we welcome the Penguin!
Oops ... make that welcome Horse! Saddle up, it's going to be a wild ride!