Yes, my amalgamation of different Tet/Chinese New Year traditions is largely of my own invention. ("Wait," Doug says, "you can't take a shower on New Year's Day?" "...Yes..." I say, "or wait, maybe it's you can't cut your hair. Let's do neither.") Maybe it's the fact that I have made up so much on my own that gives the holiday its appeal. Even the best holidays have a tinge of obligation to it, but this one? No one expects anything! If it happens, it's by dint of my own love for it. My sheer enjoyment of stringing up the lanterns, making the caramel sauce riblets, handing out the red envelopes. Better still, Ben loves the holiday, too. We've created our own family tradition. What's not to like about that?
And you can't beat those dumplings.
To all my friends and family: have a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous Year of the Sheep!