4 Under-$25 Hacks That Got My Home Ready for Lunar New Year
Including $3 art for my Samsung Frame TV.
Published Jan 20, 2023 1:24 AM
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Growing up, Lunar New Year was a very special time in my family, even more so than Christmas or New Year’s Eve. As a family of Vietnamese immigrants, we always celebrated Tet to remember our homeland and invite prosperity, happiness, and good fortune into the months ahead. Whether we observed the holiday at home, the local plaza, or our Buddhist temple (though usually it was all three), my memories are the same, filled with flashes of ornate decorations, the smell of incense wafting through the area, and a home-cooked smorgasbord of nostalgic dishes to welcome our ancestors’ spirits home. The energy in the air was electric, filled with hope and optimism for the New Year.
While I wish I could celebrate Lunar New Year in the same wild, colorful, and chaotic way that I remember as a child, I still make sure to create touches of the holiday in my own home so that my children remain connected to their heritage. Whether you observe Lunar New Year, Tet, Chinese New Year, Seollal, or Losar, here are three ways to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, ahead.
A DIY That Can Be Reused
As a kid, I remember new bamboo plants, potted chrysanthemums, and cherry blossom branches adorned with red hanging banners as signs that Lunar New Year was right around the corner. To keep it simple (mostly because I have enough live plants to take care of), I made a quick DIY with this $16 floral wreath from Target. First, I had my husband saw off the metal circle where a nail would go—I prefer a more asymmetrical look, but you can skip this step.
Then I added my adornments: Kumquats symbolize abundance and good luck, so I clipped a few branches from the kumquat tree in my garden and tucked them into the faux foliage (you can replicate the look with these artificial branches). I added an ornament to signify the Year of the Rabbit, as well as a banner that reads Happy New Year in Vietnamese found at my local Asian mall. Sweet, simple, and reusable!
Premade Decor, But Tweaked
Another Target win were these 3-for-$2 wall decals. Although you’re supposed to peel off the back so that they can cling to surfaces, I wanted to be able to reuse them, so I just used double-sided poster tape. The firecracker and lantern garlands are by My Mind’s Eye Paper Goods, and I just love the golden foil touch. They look like modern iterations of the flashy decorations my dad would always adorn our home with during the holiday. And while I found these red knots (which also signify good luck and prosperity) at my local Asian plaza, you can easily DIY them. Finally, I discovered Year of the Rabbit art on Etsy so that even my Samsung Frame TV can get in on the fun.
Festive Bedtime Stories on Display
Books are easily my favorite way to teach my kids about the holiday, and I love adding new ones that beautifully illustrate what Lunar New Year means. (It’s also a great way to support small businesses like McCoy Kids and Mochi Kids that work so hard to bring an inclusive and diverse assortment of products into their shops!) So that they double as decor, I display them on a picture frame ledge.