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Gong Xi Fa Cai, Or, The Year Of The Snake!

Last year I vowed I’d send holiday cards. Christmas came and went. Fortunately, I noticed the coming and going, so I ordered cards to send for New Year’s Day.

I chose these from Betsy Ann Paper on Etsy. I’ve gotten to know Liz, the designer, a little bit, via her writing for A Practical Wedding and on her blog, Happy Sighs. They arrived beautifully wrapped.

Then life happened. The Gregorian New Year came and went to visit his friend Christmas. But, having vowed to send cards, I persisted.

This weekend marked the Lunar New Year. What ho! I went to San Francisco’s Chinatown and picked up a stamp. As usual, if you widen your world view, good things show up in the enlarged lens.

Gong Xi Fa Cai, or, as these characters say, Xin Nian Kaui Le! Hello Year Of The Snake.

I don’t do resolutions, but when I vow, I deliver. I am trying to send a card to everyone who has mailed me over the past few years. If I didn’t get you this year, I may vow to do it next year. Vows are serious business, only to be undertaken when you have success in sight.

We can always look for hearts instead, if we find our New Year has become Valentine’s Day. Consistent success relies on flexibility, generous redefinition, and, occasionally, little friendly semi-crafty tricks.

In a few days you can watch the parade concluding the celebrations, here.

18 Responses

  1. It is still ‘done’ to give out Chinese New Year felicitations beyond the first week, up till the 15th day (or so I was told).

    I love the (handwritten) style of calligraphy in the stamp you got.

  2. Well, if that isn’t brilliant, I don’t know what is. Totally beats me sending Xmas Cards in January, with “oops, Happy New Year!” written on them too….

  3. Now what a great idea. That’s original thinking! Outside the box kinda thing. I’m afraid to make that vow, but glad you did.

  4. Love the persistence and creativity! I have a girlfriend who sends Valentine’s cards instead of Christmas cards. Her theory is that it’s a little more special since you get so. many. cards. at Christmas, but few people send Valentine’s anymore. So fun!

  5. Oh how wonderful. I love how you did not let another year pass by – those cards and your lucky timing are nothing short of high wasp genius.

  6. We got Chinese New Year e-cards from my Dad! He must have scheduled them in advance, since their power was out due to winter storm Nemo and their generator quit a few hours into the storm as well. It was actually kind of spooky – lol!

    Happy New Year!

  7. Hello Lisa, Happy Snake Year to you, too! As you point out, Chinese New Year is the third chance in a row to send greetings. It is especially easy-going because the holiday lasts for two weeks.

    You can even use your ‘Happy New Year’ stamp to enliven the next batch of January First New Year’s notes.
    –Road to Parnassus

  8. Xin nian hao to you too, Lisa!
    That stamp idea is worth a MILLION. Need to get my hands on one of these for next year for sure. Good bye, years of not keeping in touch with distant relatives!

  9. The French send out their cards in the New Year, and that approach always seems more realistic than trying to get them out at Christmas. That said, I’ve given up on cards at all over the last decade or so. And I miss them — I love stationery and all its wonderful accoutrements. You’re making me want to haul out my box of stamps and see if there’s any more life in the inkpad . . . Happy Snakes to you!

  10. …and if all else fails, there’s always the possibility to get inspired by Mad Hatter and send cards for unbirthdays! Snail post always make me happy and I have vowed to send paper cards to everyone that has been there for me, knowingly or not, during the very difficult year of the Dragon (talk about karmic years!).
    Also, I looooove your stamp!

  11. My hat goes off to you. My husband and I are the absolute WORST about stuff like this. I love the idea of these things, but they just sit there, and I end up throwing them away….then I feel guilty….its a vicious cycle. Apparently we are both in denial.

  12. That stamp is so delightful, could be used for DIY wrapping paper or to make your own stationery.

  13. I love this Lisa. Our son’s girlfriend is from a town north of Shanghai. They celebrated the new year in London. I love the stamp! And, I love how you keep your promises.

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