No Gifts? No Problem!

No Gifts? No Problem!

The Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are fast approaching. With the quarantine going on, celebrating these events may be more difficult than imagined. Well, don’t worry! We are here to help give you some ideas on what you can prepare for your loved ones on these occasions.

For Chinese New Year: 

1. Fruit baskets

The classic fruit basket is always going to be there to save you from not bringing anything to the table.

Fruit baskets can include apples, oranges, and pineapples. In Chinese, “苹” (apple) and “平” (safe and peaceful) are homophones, hence, it is believed that eating apples can allow one to have a peaceful and harmonious life. Similarly, “橘” (orange) sounds like “吉” in “大吉大利” (good luck), so it is used to represent luck (Top China Travel, n.d.).

The Chinese New Year is all about attracting more luck and fortune. Hopefully, these fruits bring your home more of these. 

(Express4Fruits, n.d.)

2. Nuts and red dates

Having just ended one long year, everyone continues to wish others good health. Hence, nuts are often prepared (C., 2021). Aside from this, many people also try to have as many red objects as possible. This is because red is a lucky color in China, which can represent prosperity. Dates (枣 zǎo) have the same pronunciation as “early” (早 zǎo), meaning a head start. The Chinese New Year is just the perfect time to have a head start on all the wonderful events that are about to come (C., 2021).

(Halim, 2021)

3. Red envelope

The most wanted gifts of all!

The red envelope is a very well known gift among the Chinese because of its monetary nature. The red envelope is usually given by the older generations to the younger ones to protect them from the demon, Sui. In the legend, Sui would always come out during Chinese New Year to terrify children and make them physically ill with his touch. One day, a child fell asleep with his red envelope below his pillow and when Sui came, the coins in the envelope shined brightly, driving the demon away. Hence, the tradition of giving red envelopes with money was born.

This will definitely help you earn that uncle/aunt/parent of the year award among the younger children!

(HBX, 2018)

For Valentine’s Day: 

4. DIY Ring Plate by Lowin (2021)

This DIY ring plate is the perfect gift for jewelry lovers everywhere. It is a simple craft that only requires two things: your hands and some modeling clay. This ring plate is meant to be a place where you store rings, necklaces, bracelets, or whatever you’d like! This is how to make it:

  • Take your modeling clay and shape it into a heart. Make sure that this heart shape is shallow so that items do not fall out. Like the reference photo shown, you may add a special message and some grooves along the edges. However, feel free to use your creative juices and make it your own! 

(Lowin, 2021)

5. Valentine Wreath by Linda (2015)

This Valentine wreath is a decorative piece that is sure to warm anyone’s heart. This is meant to replicate the most romantic flower of all, the rose. You can place this almost anywhere; just make sure it has a hook to hang on to. The only ingredients needed to make this are a glue gun, red tissue paper, red paint, and cardboard. 

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is cut strips of the red tissue/crepe paper. 
  2. Then, crumple it and fold it in half. 
  3. Then fold it in half again. 
  4. Begin to roll the strip, adding dabs of hot glue when necessary. 
  5. Finally, add a dab of hot glue to seal it and you’ve created your first rose! 
  6. Repeat this process until you have your desired amount of roses. After this, cut out a piece of cardboard in a heart shape. Paint your cardboard heart red and begin sticking all your roses. After this, you are done!

(Linda, 2015)

For pictures of the step by step process and the exact measurements, click here.

6. Candy Heart Garland by Tell Love and Party (2017)

Our last Valentine’s day gift idea is a candy heart garland. This is based on the iconic candy hearts that are often given around this time of year. This craft will add a pop of color to your home and is just plain sweet. For this craft, you will need colored paper, markers, a hole puncher, and a long piece of yarn. 

  1. The first step is to cut out hearts of various colors. You may cut these by hand or use a heart punch. 
  2. Then write cute sayings like, “Miss You”, “XOXO”, “Hug Me” on these hearts. You can either write these using a marker or using stamps. 
  3. Next, use your hole puncher to add two holes on the tops of the hearts. 
  4. Finally, put the yarn through the holes in each heart and hang your garland!

(Tell Love and Party, 2017)

That caps off our homemade gift ideas for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s day! We hope that you found this article helpful and that you have a couple of ideas for some meaningful gifts. Wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day!


Article by Dana T. (Grade 12) and Bella F. (Grade 9); Feature Image by Renoa K. (Grade 10)

The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.


References:

C. (2021, January 28). Top 7 Chinese New Year Snacks. Retrieved February 03, 2021, from https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-food/chinese-new-year-snacks.htm

Express4Fruits. (n.d.). Crunchy apples and orange fruit basket. Retrieved February 06, 2021, from https://www.express4fruits.com/crunchy-apples-and-orange-fruit-basket.html

Halim, J. (2021, January 14). Walnut stuffed red dates – jaja bakes. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://jajabakes.com/walnut-stuffed-red-dates/

HBX. (2018, February 4). Exclusive: Red Envelope designs featuring MASTERMIND WORLD, Stone Island and fragment design. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://hbx.com/journal/2018/2/mastermind-world-stone-island-fragment-design-red-envelopes

Linda. Valentine Wreath Craft Idea for Valentine’s Day. (2015). Retrieved 1 February 2021, from https://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/valentine-wreath/

Lowin, R. These Valentine’s Day Crafts Are the Best Way to Spread the Love This Year. (2021). Retrieved 1 February 2021, from https://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g1093/valentine-day-crafts/?slide=1

Tell Love and Party. (2017). DIY CANDY HEART GARLAND. Retrieved 1 February 2021, from https://tellloveandparty.com/2017/01/diy-candy-heart-garland.html

Top China Travel. (n.d.). 7 lucky fruits for Chinese New Year. Retrieved February 03, 2021, from https://www.topchinatravel.com/china-guide/lucky-fruits-for-chinese-new-year.htm

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