Archive for February 4th, 2011

Kung Hei Fat Choy! This means “Happy New Year!” in Chinese. Chinese New Year started yesterday February 3rd, but it goes on for 15 days, so I thought I would provide a little Chinese New Year 101! I am half Chinese and half Irish, but I grew up in a home that was centered around the Chinese culture. I thought I would share a mini Chinese New Year 101 with you and some of the traditions that make me who I am today.

Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays, and is a time of feasting with the family, celebration, fireworks, and gift giving. It is a 15-day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival.

The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal. There are various stories that explain this. The simplest is that Buddha (or the Jade Emperor) invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only 12 animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Why Firecrackers?
It used to be traditional to set off firecrackers at Chinese New Year, to see off the old year and welcome in the new. Ancient Chinese legends tell of the Nian, a man-eating beast from the mountains, which came out every winter to feast on humans. To scare the Nian away, the people used loud noises such as firecrackers and fireworks, and bright colors, particularly red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations.

Lucky Money – also pronounced, “li-see”?
At Chinese New Year parents, family and friends give money to children in red envelopes. The red color symbolizes good luck, and the amount of money can be anything from a small coin to a larger amount. Lucky money envelopes are also known as Red Packets or Red Envelopes.

Cleaning the Home and Painting Your Home?
In the run up to Chinese New Year, homes are spring-cleaned thoroughly so that all the bad luck of the previous year is swept away (and on the first day of the new year, brooms and dustpans are put away and never used in case the good luck of the new year is swept away!) Often houses are freshly painted. Traditional Chinese homes sometimes get a new coat of red paint, as red is a particularly lucky color.

What are Chinese Couplets?
Also used to decorate homes are Chinese couplets. These are two tall posters, usually consisting of 4 Chinese characters each (as eight is a lucky number), which are hung on either side of the front door. The couplets express traditional good wishes for the year ahead.

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Doodle, doodle, doo! We are thrilled to have interviewed children’s boutique extraordinaire, Ginger Gray, owner of Doodlebugs in Georgetown, South Carolina this week for our “Premier Store Spotlight”. She gives us the scoop on snow on the beach in South Carolina this winter, upcoming trunk shows, the “tutu craze,” and how to transition your holiday red clothing to a very special Valentine’s Day outfit! Read more to find out about the best boutique in Georgetown, South Carolina!

721 Front Street
Georgetown, SC 29440

Join Doodlebugs on Facebook and click HERE

1.    What was the inspiration behind the name Doodlebugs?
Ginger: Doodlebug was the nickname that I had for my daughter when she was 6-years-old, which was the same time that I purchased my store.

2.    Describe the neighborhood where your store is located. Tell us about Georgetown, South Carolina. Did you grow up in the local area? Is it the same as it was growing up?
Ginger: Our store is located on the water in the downtown Historic District of Georgetown, which was the center of the business district as I was growing up. Now, as some of the bigger businesses have moved out of this central location, it has become a quaint and charming area for tourists and locals to travel, shop and dine.

Growing up in a small town, I always longed to move away to a “big city,” but now that I am older and have children of my own, I realize just how much I love living and raising a family in a small town.

3.    Winter storms have been hitting the nation – for any new mom – what would be 3 essential wardrobe items and 3 must-haves for their new baby.
Ginger: Living on the coast we are normally not accustomed to needing the heavy coats or warm clothing that we have needed this year (Brr!).  Every year we are wishing for “just” a snow flurry, and it has snowed three times in the last year here!   

3 essential wardrobe items:

  1. Le Top’s velour outfits because they are warm enough for the cold days but not too heavy for when it is just a little chilly out. 
  2. Turtlenecks and tights
  3. An awesome and stylish winter coat

3 must-haves for their new baby:

  1. Muslin blankets for swaddling are great
  2. Some type of soft lovie or blankie for them to become attached to
  3. Convertible gowns are wonderful for those middle of the night diaper changes

4.    Where are your favorite family hangouts in the local Georgetown area?
Ginger: The beach, the beach and the beach! We are only a few minutes away and there is nothing more relaxing than sticking your toes in the sand with a good book and the sun shining down on your face.  Having grown up on the coast, it would be very hard for me to not live near the water.

5.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Ginger: Say, “Because I said so,” to my kids, but sometimes there is just no other answer!

6.    Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Sweethearts, flowers, chocolate and all, would you dress your little girl or boy in for Valentine’s Day?
Ginger: My daughter is 14-years-old and my son is 11-years-old and what I wouldn’t give to be able to still dress them in all of the adorable clothes that we sell! But because Valentine ’s Day is normally in between seasons and Fall merchandise is usually picked over by that point, many of our customers like to purchase an extra dress or outfit for Christmas that can be converted into a Valentine’s outfit as well.  We always like to throw out suggestions on how they can change a button from green to white to transition into Valentine’s Day. We have also sold a few Spring pieces from the Heart’s Delight Collection by Le Top for Valentine’s Day.

7.    With the winter weather in the air – what would be your favorite rainy day recommended activity?
Ginger: Our family loves to rent movies or play board games on a rainy day.

8.    Any special events that you have planned at your store for the next few months?
Ginger: We have a trunk show scheduled later this month and we are participating in a local fashion show in March. We are also excited about some new items that we will be adding to our product selection in the next few months.

9.    Tell us your best parenting tip or mom advice that your mom passed on to you that you would like to share with a new parent.
Ginger: I think that the best advice I could give is to enjoy every single minute while they are young. My mom would always tell me just how fast time would fly by and I never quite understood until now. When our children are small we are so ready for them to move on to the next phase (walking, talking, potty training, etc). While it is nice not to have to worry about late night feedings and changing diapers, I would surely love to go back a few years and be able to relive and cherish it all over.

10.    What is the hottest trend for kids clothes and toys right now?
Ginger: It seems that tutus are a big hit right now, especially for more than just dress-up. They are perfect for birthday parties, holidays or to just make an outfit more fun. 

11.    What collection or piece from Le Top or Le Top Baby line or Rabbitmoon do you love from the Spring 2011 or Fall 2010 collection?
Ginger: I look forward every year to see what new inspiration Le Top has for their duck group. It is probably one of my favorites.

721 Front Street
Georgetown, SC 29440

Join Doodlebugs on Facebook and click HERE

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