Back in mid-July, I mentioned a very thoughtful tradition in my culture called “midsummer gifts,” to be sent to those who are dear to you to show that you care how they are doing during the hottest time of the year. Well, we have a similar gift-sending tradition during the coldest time of the year called “year-end gifts.”
I went out today to look for “year-end gifts” to send to my dear ones, and I came across a few I could send to my people affected by the big earthquakes in mid-April. They are all things that are ordinarily available any other time of the year, but made a little special.
First, these jumped into my sight:
These are regular sugar candies to be had as tea sweets, but shaped in festive motifs (including a rooster, next year’s Chinese zodiac) and encased in sticky rice crackers in the shape of knots. You have to be careful when breaking open the cracker or the sugar candies inside will come flying out… but then again, maybe that can also be festive, having fortune flying everywhere!
Then, I could not keep my eyes off of these:
Inside are common traditional sweets – sweet red beans wrapped in baked kidney bean and egg yolk paste – but they also have festive motifs stamped on them (I will show you one in another photo below) and packaged as treasures in sacs. Does it not make you excited to guess what kind of treasure will come out from each package?
And last but not least, what am I to do with all these sweets without tea?
“Bird by the Palace”
This tea powder blend is usually named “Blue Skies” (a blend on the high-end and one I would not normally buy), but it is re-blended and re-packaged (and re-sized to be sold at a special offer price!) especially for new year tea services. It was given a new name to commemorate the Year of the Rooster (or birds in general) next year.
The cute little birdie drawn on the can label is a black-headed gull that comes to migrate in the winter to a river by the old palace in our former capital city, near where the tea maker’s headquarter is located. The tea maker added it to the label to wish the drinkers of this tea to spread their wings and soar into the blue skies like a bird in the new year… what a lovely wish!
So, here they are, all together… ordinary things made a little special:
On the bottom right, the treasure that came out of the white sac was a Cintamani, a wish-fulfilling jewel… hmm, what shall I wish for, a soaring new year for my people and you? And oh, I wish I could let you have a taste of the luxuriant aroma and rich flavour of the high-end tea… mmm, mmm!
Now then, maybe you can join me in sending ordinary things made a little special to my people?
Unlike in previous get well messages which started with sending flower power, this week I am going to ask you to do something special, but only by a little. But nothing extraordinary, as usual… only to get you in the festive mood so you could kindly share it with my people!
Maybe you can take a snapshot of your ordinary something made a little special and post it on your site?
And maybe you can let me know by leaving a comment?
Once again, ordinary things made special, just by a little bit, nothing more. I think it just as thoughtful, and possibly more helpful, to give a little often than to give big every so often.
Allow me to thank every one of you a little often – it is always a delight to have you come by and read through my post(s). Your views and likes make my ordinary days a little more special, and I hope there is something here that makes yours a little special once in a while.
Just another snowflake, but in “Sherbet Delight” colours to express my appreciation for your visits!