I remember as a kid, Chinese New Year was the holiday I always looked forward to. All my favorite uncles, aunts, cousins, great grandparents, the whole she-bam-fam came over to celebrate, everyone all decked out in robes of red. The adults were either in the kitchen cooking up a delicious, tropical storm, or singing karaoke, playing mah-jong, or catching up in a cherry blossomed corner. The kids on the other hand, chased down all the adults for their lai see (red envelopes). It was awesome counting all that money which eventually became my mom's anyway. I also remember lots and lots of incense burning. My God Buddah, the amount of smoke in the house made everyone's eyes watery. Those were some fun times.

It's toned down a lot nowadays. This year, it was just my mom, sister, niece and I and we had a simple and delicious dinner. I still get a lai see from my mom and I still get giddy about it. My niece also busted out a Hanukkah song which totally cracked us up. She sang it during the holidays in school and I guess she equates Chinese New year with Christmas. Lai see are like presents so it's understandable.

I was playing with Kaley for a bit which involved legos, Tinkerbell play sets, and coloring books. And when I tried to leave, she'll beg me to stay and say the darnest things, like, "Uncle, don't go, you make me sad." Or "Can you stay a ten, please?" You just can't turn down a googly-eyed big girl.

Eventually, I did leave and I couldn't shake the thought of Kaley totally missing out on all that festive commotion I experienced growing up. It got me thinking about having kids, and having lots of kids (Angelina style) so I could create the liveliness that Chinese New Year often brings. These are some crazy, serious thoughts. Who knows? Maybe Old Brand New is adopting a village! Ha! Anyway, enough chatter.

Gung Hay Fat Choi! Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! :D