Year of the Snake Swag

This has got to be the most blinged out Lunar New Year I’ve ever seen.

Usually, I’ve had to hit up Asian supermarkets and big party supply stores to cobble together some decorations and trinkets for Chinese New Year that — how do we say this? — do not suit American aesthetics. And I still need to make my pilgrimage to the Taiwanese mega strip mall to buy my swag for this year. But have you noticed that some major retailers have been selling all kinds of  Year of the Snake swag? See what I mean by big names:


Starbucks is offering Year of the Snake gift cards. Have you seen these at your local coffee shop? Apparently there are cute little teddy bears wearing Chinese outfits for sale at Starbucks in Asia (or on eBay).

Starbucks year of the snake

Image Credit: Starbucks


Pottery Barn Kids (!!!) has a line of Lunar New Year kids decor. No longer do Chinese holiday decorations mean shiny paper banners with those oddly pink cheeked drawings of children. Now you can bring a touch of felt-y Etsy-ish style to your event.

Lunar New Year Pottery Barn

Image Credit: Pottery Barn Kids

There are melamine plates and glasses with cute kiddie writing designs, and even matching chopsticks. But I’m not sure about the felt red envelope chair backers. Sort of like Chinese New Year stockings, I guess? First of all, the “envelope” is the wrong size and shape, and having one permanent envelope defeats the purpose of collecting LOTS of envelopes from all the aunts and uncles. But I give PB props for the effort. Check out the collection and their tutorials for some CNY crafts.



And because the moms want some goodies, too… MAC Cosmetics released a collection of Year of the Snake makeup. I mean, if Nicki Minaj can get her own cosmetics from MAC, then surely the entire population of Asia can get a nod, too?

MAC Year of the Snake lipsticks

Image Credit: MAC Cosmetics


There are three shades of lipsticks (and only one of them is red) and each comes embossed with a snake curling around the lipstick bullet. Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog has a review.


I was also interviewed by Janet Cho at the Cleveland Plain Dealer on my thoughts about marketing toward Asians for the new year. Read the full article:

More retailers offering Year of the Snake-inspired promotions for the Lunar New Year

It’s almost like Lunar New Year has become a legitimate American holiday or something. My latest piece at explains what it’s like to be Celebrating Chinese New Year When No One Else Is. Check it out and join the discussion on this great new website.


BTW, I was not compensated nor given free samples of any of these products. I had to just drool over them on the Internets for free. 


  1. says

    Wow, is all I can say. I used to make those lanterns from red packets when I was a kid! I wonder how much PB is charging for them …

    • says

      I don’t think Pottery Barns sells the lanterns. If you look at the website, there’s a tutorial for making the Dragon Lantern, and it’s not that easy — requires transfer paper, X-acto knives, etc. Maybe that’s why it’s so homegrown cute looking.

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