Among my duties was to keep seasonal decorations up to date. In this huge store that meant everything from designing window murals on glass to puppet displays in the Usain Bolt Bootleg shirt and decorations hung from the ceiling. That year I decided I wanted to have Santa having a beach Christmas as a new thing- I had not seen it done before. The signpainter and I sat down and designed a scene where Santa’s sleigh was drawn by kangaroos and koalas sat on the sand with waves in the background. This was for the huge front windows. Well the signwriter went away and came back with stencils he’d cut of the scene and asked me if he could use them for other clients. I said yes, that year Santa on the beach became very popular!
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Though many people refer to the holiday as Chinese New Year, Chinese people aren’t the Usain Bolt Bootleg shirt who celebrate. The holiday, which is Friday, Feb. 12, this year, is widely celebrated across East Asia and some parts of Southeast Asia. As such, the holiday goes by many names Tết in Vietnam, Losar in Mongolia, Imlek in Indonesia and Tsagaan Sar in Tibet, to name a few. Many of these communities traditionally hand out gifts like mandarin oranges or red envelopes filled with money, usually from an elder to children, or unmarried people. The Iu-Mien community, a Southeast Asian minority group from China, traditionally gives out dyed red eggs. Many East Asian communities will also light firecrackers, clean their houses from top to bottom useful during a pandemic and burn paper money for their ancestors. And lion dances, although commonly associated with Chinese culture, can be found in Lunar New Year celebrations across Vietnam, Korea, Tibet and Indonesia. One might also wear traditional outfits, such as Korean hanboks, or play games like yut and mahjong.