Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thoughts about Lunar New year and Valentine's Day


For a few years now we have been celebrating Chinese New Year by having a little party with yummy food and some fun crafts and games maybe. You may be wondering why- since not one of us in our family is actually Chinese. As most of you know, I have a fascination with everything China and actually had been counting the years and then months until we could start the process to adopt a little girl from China. Well obviously God had different plans (for now at least!) and we still haven't a bit of Chinese blood in our house. We have had fun in the years past making food and inviting an international student to join us. It is so fun to learn more about other cultures. But this year I kinda slacked off and didn't plan anything at all for Chinese New Year and had planned to just not really mention it to the boys (who by the way really look forward to our celebration). Well, I found out that Koreans do actually celebrate the Lunar New Year as well (pretty much every Asian country does) and they have lots of yummy food to eat too- they just call it something different: Seoullal.

So, NEXT YEAR we will be combining our love for China with our daughter's Korean heritage and simply call it a Lunar New Year Celebration! We'll have to combine foods as well- two of my favorites!
As for this year, I mean today, we dressed up our sweet little Korean in her pretty red Chinese dress that friends brought her from China and went to church and then had a very yummy lunch at P.F. Changs- my favorite!!!

And my sweetheart of a Valentine had these sent to me a week and a half ago with a note that said "Valentine's Day was too long to wait to say I love you..." And they still look gorgeous today.
What a guy!

Can you say awwwwwwww? <3>
And please- Don't forget the real reason we celebrate Valentine's Day and make sure you share the story with your kids too! It is SO MUCH MORE than just candy and cards and flowers!!!
St. Valentine (or Valentinus as he was known) was a real man who loved God and obeyed Him. The Roman Emperor at the time Claudius II outlawed marriage with the hopes that he would build a stronger larger army with the single men. Valentine knew that was against God's plan and decided to marry young couple's secretly. He knew that he could go to prison, but decided that obeying God was worth taking the risk. Emperor Claudius found out and had him thrown into prison and not too much time later Valentine was put to death for marrying couples against the emperors law and refusing to worship the Roman gods. The execution took place on February 14 in the year 269: the day the Romans celebrated the goddess Juno. 200 years after his death, a leader in the church declared that February 14th be the day Christians honor and remember the courageous life of Valentinus and the love he had for Christ.
If you'd like to share this story with your kids in more detail go to the Voice of the Martyrs site and order this book. We have this one and I think I am going to go ahead and order the Story of St. Patrick as well.
Isn't it interesting how so much of the world (or our country at least) has all of these little holidays and celebrations and most of us have no idea how they even originated. We just go about like the rest of the world and run to Target for some cute cards or candy, not even stopping to think about WHY we are doing that. (And of course Target is not going to tell us why- they just want us to spend $!) Hey- I do the same thing, but I am really asking God to change that, because it starts with me first! As parents, we need to choose to be purposeful in sharing these stories which will strengthen our and our children's faith and not just giving into the culture. Just as we choose to celebrate the "big" Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter and make them meaningful, we should at the very least pass on the stories of the heroes of the faith to our kids during these small holidays as well. So, get your calendar out and start looking for the next "opportunity" to strengthen your family's faith and do a little research. You don't have to have a book about every holiday (although it is a great investment and a wonderful resource), you can just google "St. Patricks day" or whatever. And whatever you end up doing- share it with me! I'm always looking for new ideas!~
Hope you had a wonderful day!


Mel said...

Elliana looks great in red...I think it's an Asian thing.
We traditionally have boycotted Valentine's Day, claiming it was a conspiracy from Hallmark and that we didn't need a special day to recognize our love, but your story makes me rethink it. I guess the kids will get a history lesson tomorrow.

Tina said...

I totally agree with Melissa, thanks for the new look at valentines day ...the true story! I will also share that with our family! I had no idea. Looks like we will all be celebrating more next year..with valentines and a big korean new year celebration.

Tiffany said...

Beautiful photos of your beautiful daughter!
Happy Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day!

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