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Old 02-08-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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Question About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is coming up and I have a Chinese friend at work. Her husband just went back to Hong Kong to work and she may follow him in a few months, but right now she is really lonely. Do you think I should get her a gift for Chinese New Year? I have no idea if this would be approprriate but I feel like doing a little something to cheer her up.

Also, I have no idea what would make a good Chinese New Year gift, if anything. She is all alone here with no family so I feel like doing something.

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Old 02-08-2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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Toots...

Doing something nice for someone is always appropriate! I am sure she will appreciate anything you do!...Sometimes love is spelled T-I-M-E...So maybe invite her to dinner at your place or go out...spending time with her is a great gift!
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:47 PM   #3
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since you're not that familiar with the traditions of Chinese New Year, why not ask your friend about it and ask if she can show you how to make some of the traditional dishes normally served at this time, and then help her celebrate it?
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:15 PM   #4
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There are lots of traditions and taboos associated with the new year. A quick google search will give you lots of information. She may not shampoo her hair that day....you could treat her to a spa day for the day after..

If possible, arrange for your friend to see or hear a red bird singing, as early in the day as possible. Even if you have to tape a picture to her car window, she'll appreciate the gesture. Or just plan to call her before anyone else does, and wish her good fortune or tell her a happy story. There is a belief that what they encounter first will carry over for the whole year.

While it may seem tacky, a crisp, brand new dollar bill in a red envelope is a fun gift. Anything in a red envelope is good.

Have fun.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:57 PM   #5
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I think you may already have the answer.

The best help for loneliness is friendship and spending time with others. And you said she is a friend.

You know her, at least somewhat, and probably have some idea what approaches might work and might not.

Would not worry too much about the New Year thing. Would just invite her to a lunch or dinner, at your place or in a restaurant. Or if there is some sort of function, or exhibit, or anything interesting going on, just ask her to accompany you.

Just be casual and play it by your guts.

Even if she turns you down, some people want their privacy, she will be feel better that someone cared enough to offer her a hand.

Good luck and God bless.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue

While it may seem tacky, a crisp, brand new dollar bill in a red envelope is a fun gift. Anything in a red envelope is good.
Actually, that gift is given to the children, not the adults. (dh's buddy gives our kids those each year)
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:34 AM   #7
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Toots, being Chinese myself, I'd find it a bit bizarre to receive a gift on Chinese New Year unless it's a red envelope with crisp new bills in it, and even then, only if i were still young with no financial means. (It's like if you got a New Year's gift yourself, I'm sure you'd find it strange too.)

The red envelopes with symbols of luck and fortune are traditionally given to kids and young people by the elders. People normally give each other sweet glutinous cakes (which has to do with preventing the Kitchen God from speaking ill of your family to the other heavenly gods, by shutting his mouth up with this sticky confection.) Families normally gather from all over to celebrate during this long holiday. Firecrackers are set off to ward off evil spirits in the new year.

What a great friend you are. I'm sure she will appreciate your spending time with her, maybe treat her to something both of you can do together. Hey, maybe giving her a mock red envelope (with a gift certificate to a spa or something like that) would put her in a fun mood...
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
Actually, that gift is given to the children, not the adults. (dh's buddy gives our kids those each year)
Hey! I still like to get easter bunnies! I still give my kids cupcakes on their birthdays! Who wouldn't love a crisp dollar bill??
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:19 AM   #9
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Is it the done thing to go out for a meal? I know in Britain Chinese restaurants are full on Chinese New Year. If she has no family here, she might be keen to go out to a restaurant with you while still enjoying a sense of home and community.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:03 AM   #10
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Hey guys - thanks for all the great advice. I think I'm going to see if she wants to go to a Chinese restaurant in our area that does a big New Year Celebration with fire works, etc. Should be fun and I'm sure she'll appreciate it.
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