In January, The Holidays Still Thrill Me, Thanks To My Chinese Husband

(photo by Victoria Pickering, via her Flickr stream)

John smiled with admiration as he hung my new down jacket up for me. “You can wear it on chuyi,” he said, a Mandarin term for the first day of the Chinese New Year.

This down jacket would join the red underwear, red bras, red long-sleeved shirt, red sweater, red-striped socks, and the jeans tucked into a Calvin Klein bag in the corner of our closet.

My heart fluttered with excitement, even though it surely seemed out of place in the Northern US in early January, a time when the snow outside our window looks as white and melancholy as a funeral in China.

But my marriage to John has become my own personal solution to the January blues — with him in my life, I now have another holiday to look forward to. And according to the tradition in his family and hometown, that means a new set of clothing — it’s auspicious to start the lunar new year wearing something new from head to toe.

There’s also a Chinese New Year’s Eve banquet for us to prepare. I imagine stir-fried bok choy, pickled daikon radishes, homestyle tofu, and the roast duck and ribs that will make John salivate, along with an auspicious dessert of eight treasures glutinous rice.

And I can’t wait to take a trip out to the local Chinese supermarkets, where we’ll find a wealth of decorations for the new year — plastic red firecrackers, red couplets, and, hopefully, a lovely paper snake we can hang on the wall.

So, January, do your worst. I’m not afraid of your mournful, snowy days, a time when most people struggle to return to their lives, leaving behind all the holiday mirth and magic. I’ve still got more holidays yet to enjoy — not to mention one gorgeous down jacket that awaits me — and I’ve got a Chinese husband to thank for that.

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6 thoughts on “In January, The Holidays Still Thrill Me, Thanks To My Chinese Husband

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:20 am
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    Great to read how you celebrate both Chinese and Western holidays. It seems like you’re talented in bringing a festive Chinese new year atmosphere into your home.

    I had to do some illustrations for 红包s given out on Chinese Spring Festival, but unfortunatly I’ve never been in China for Spring Festival and won’t be there this year either. I’m quite sure that I’ll have a chance to celebrate it in the upcoming years though. I imagine it to be much more 热闹 than Christmas back at home, but who knows?! Hopefully I’ll still catch a glimpse of the festive atmosphere when travelling southwest with my fiancé and his uncle and aunt this February.

    Reply
  • January 7, 2013 at 8:22 am
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    Chinese New Years is on February 10th this year. I never had a chance to celebrate it unfortunately…would be cool if I could this year, but if not, nothing I can do except go to the annual Chinese show at a university. (Been going every year there.)

    Reply
  • January 8, 2013 at 7:22 am
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    Many winter holidays are ancient method to fight winter blue. With less light in northern latitude, people suffer from depression easily. It is not simple coincidence that both east and west countries have their biggest holidays in deep winter.

    Reply
  • January 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm
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    @Bruce. Thanks for your prompt reply. I do in fact love to stay at this site and correspond with you and the others as well as read about the cultural experiences and lessons by Jocelyn, but I am facing too much pressure from both my family and Kate. After my family discovered what I was doing at this site and what I have been writing, they counseled me not to be here anymore. Furthermore, Kate said that I should not write non-sense here anymore and to concentrate on our relationship. So, I promised them that by the end of Jan. 2013, I will leave and in the meantime, I will not write about picking up Chinese women.
    I really got into so much trouble with Pam, Susan, and my parents. My parents could not believe what I and Pam & Susan were doing behind their backs in H.K. They also could not believe that I had such a strong propensity to love a Chinese woman. My parents are not prejudiced but they prefer that we (I and my sisters) to marry someone within our own race and culture to keep the peace. They will not disown or oppose my decision though. Thanks for all of your help. I love you Kate.

    Reply
  • January 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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    I’m preparing my RED UNDERWEAR tonight also! Let’s see if I will lose my ass off at the casinos. I really lost my ass off 14 yrs ago from the stock market 1999. Life is just too short as you can see. Another year passes us by like nothing.

    Reply
  • Pingback:I Bought It for Love (or How My New Jacket Made My Mother-In-Law Smile) | Speaking of China

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