By Janine Berger (translated from the original)

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DIY enthusiast & cat mom Janine Berger spends her free time thinking out cool crafts for families on CalistasTraum.de.

As Christmas comes around, we reflect on the things that have the most value for us. Spending time with our family is at the top of that list. But we also enjoy the little things – like the lovingly wrapped presents! The best gifts under the Christmas tree are the ones that the recipient will still be raving about the next year. Finding such a gift, however, presents us with a major challenge every year. Although the beautifully decorated shop windows in the city center are filled with countless gift ideas, the spark doesn’t always materialize. And I catch myself, again and again, standing in front of the shop window humming and just enjoying the Christmas decorations.

Shortly before Christmas, the panic sets in because I still haven’t got all the presents for my loved ones. Or all the names on the list have been neatly checked off, but it in the pre-Christmas stress, one gift or the other gift has gotten lost. Finding a suitable gift at the last minute is often difficult to say the least!

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A personalized DIY gift idea for Christmas – The Explosion Box

Although I do appreciate a little thoughtfulness, I am generally not the type of person who likes to receive gifts. Instead, I prefer to make others happy and show them love and affection, or use gifts as a way to say thank you. So this year, I have again ventured to make lots of homemade and personal gifts to help us through these dreary times and bring long-term joy. This is how the personalized explosion box came to be. Its contents ensure surprise while the carefully selected photos inspire an excitement that reaches the heart of the recipient. After all, there’s nothing more precious than moments experienced together and the memory of them – now more than ever.

What is an Explosion Box?

An explosion box is a box that is not only filled with various things, but also falls apart when opened. The insides of the box are thereby elaborately designed and thus revealed in a very unique way.

Things you‘ll need:

  • A plain explosion box template
  • Photos from MyPostcard
  • Ribbons
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Stickers
  • Gel pens

How to make your own Explosion Box:

This beautiful gift idea actually requires little craftsmanship know-how. With just a few touches you can make a very personal and emotive gift that will bring a smile to people’s faces with memories of moments shared together. This makes the explosion box an ideal gift idea for a variety of occasions, such as an anniversary present for your partner, a gift for Mother’s Day, for a birthday or at Christmas.

The box should be available for purchase as a plain template in most big pharmacies or online. If you are looking for a little challenge, you can also make the box yourself at home using a printable.

Step 1: Choose your photos

Before we can begin crafting, we must first gather a few beautiful moments experienced together! I ordered the selected shots via the MyPostcard app. All I had to do was choose one of three different formats and upload the images to the app. After cropping them to suit my own preferences, I was also able to add some lovely words to them.

Each format can be ordered as a 15, 22, or 30 piece set.

It’s quick, easy, and straightforward to create the perfect print this way. The rest gets taken care of by the MyPostcard team.

Step 2: Glue photos to the box

Once the finished prints have arrived, we can start crafting. First, we stick the finished photo prints on the free inside sides of the box however you prefer. It’s best to use double-sided adhesive tape to avoid ugly glue spots here. Then glue the individual elements together in the center – this is how the typical shape of the explosion box is ultimately created.

DIY Explosion box in the making with photos

Step #3: Decorate the bare sides

A selection of stamps

Bare sides can be enhanced with small polka dots or quotes. I opted for a few nice messages and white dots. But be careful; too many different colors and patterns can quickly look chaotic and destroy the overall effect. I finished off the photo look with a few matching stickers. Alternatively, you can also try dried flowers or glitter.

Step #4: The final touches

Confetti sprinkled into exploding photo box

In the middle of the explosion box I also glued a smaller box, inside of which was a cute lucky charm. But the possibilities are endless!

Step #5: Designing the exterior of the box

Finally, you can design the exterior of the box according to your own desires and ideas. It doesn’t matter whether you choose additional photos, a colored ribbon, or a thick bow – whatever‘s beautiful to you, your recipient is sure to find beautiful too!

The outsides of the DIY photo explosion box decorated with red ribbon
The lid rests next to the DIY photo exploding box

The ideal personalized Christmas gift

By the way, I used my explosion box for our annual family Christmas Secret Santa. The luck of the draw gave me a very special person who, at 83 years old, has already achieved and seen everything in life.

So the choice of my gift was not difficult: it had to be personal and unique. When selecting the photos, I deliberately focused on the beautiful and, above all, shared moments. In this way, I got to not only invest a lot of personality in to my Secret Santa gift but at the same time, countless stories and emotions. After all, behind every photo print hides a mutually experienced memory, and in my opinion, there can never be enough of them. – Janine

About the author

DIY enthusiast & cat mom, Janine Berger has lots more DIY ideas for families with kids on her (German-speaking) blog, Calistas Traum. Here, you’ll also find the latest natural cosmetics trends, culinary recipe ideas, as well as open and honest conversations about topics like depression, miscarriage, and death.

The copyright of the images on this page belongs to Janine Berger / Calistas-Traum.de

2021 is the year of the Ox: the second in the 12 year cycle, it is believed to be a time of honesty, positivity, stability and nourishment. People born this year are said to be diligent, dependent and steadfast.

Observing the start of the New Year according to the traditional calendar, Chinese New Year is a holiday that is celebrated around the world but predominantly originates in Asian countries. Also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, it is a celebration based on the phases of the moon.  Discover more about this festival, including where and when it is observed and some of the most popular ways to celebrate it. We have also included Chinese new year messages, happy Chinese new year greetings and traditional messages.


Table of Contents:


Where and when is Chinese New Year?


One in five of the world’s population are Chinese, and this festival is one of the most widely celebrated on the planet. However, while Lunar New Year is often predominantly associated with China, many cities have similar spring festival celebrations. For example,  the Losar of Tibet, the Korean New Year, and the Tết of Vietnam

Each year, the Chinese New Year celebration begins on the new moon that occurs between January 21 and February 20 (according to Western calendars). This means that this year, the 15 day festival starts on Friday February 12th.

Below you can find the dates and animals for New Year for the next three years:

Year Date
2021: Year of the ox February 12th
2022: Year of the tiger February 1st
2023: Year of the rabbit January 22nd


5 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year


Fireworks on Chinese New Year as a way to celebrate

There are many ways of celebrating the Lunar New Year, with some traditions being passed on for thousands of years. Some of our favourite ways to celebrate the holiday include:

  1. Prepare the House

Prior to the festivities, the day before the Spring Festival is often dedicated to cleaning; to sweep out the old year and welcome prosperity into the new. Clear out the clutter and treat yourself to some new clothes, preferably in red for good fortune. You can also decorate your home, with red paper decorations often used on windows and doors. However, there should be no cleaning once the festival starts. Cleaning of any kind is forbidden on the first day of the festival, and this even includes no showering and washing the dishes. Whereas, sweeping and throwing out the trash is not permitted before the 5th.


  1. Attend a Festival

In many places around the world, Chinese New Year is celebrated with parades, dances and festivals. This often includes the Chinese dragon, which is symbolic of good fortune. This year, festivals may not be quite the same, depending on your current county. However there are a range of virtual festivals available on line and there are still lots of opportunities to embrace the spirit of lunar new year via technology.


  1. Gifting Red Packets

Red packets or red envelopes are a popular gift at this time of year.  Known as hong bao in Mandarin or lai se in Cantonese, these red packets are believed to bestow blessings on the recipient. The giving of red packets is embedded in Chinese legend, and it is premised upon the belief that they can protect children from the demon, Sui. There are many traditions and superstitions associated with this symbolic gesture. For example, you should gift a rounded number or one that ends in 8 and you should not give an amount with a 4 in it or include any coins.


  1. Feast with the Family

This holiday is about spending time with the family and most people go back to their hometown for New Year’s Eve dinner. This spring migration, or chunyun (春运), is actually the largest annual human migration in the world, with 2.9 billion passenger journeys being made at that time. When it comes to the feast, different countries and regions have different traditional foods for celebrating lunar New Year. For example, in the north of China, the holiday would not be complete without delicious dumplings. Alternately, in Korea, tteokguk is a rice cake soup that is a must-eat at this time of year.


  1. Fireworks

It is said that more fireworks are set off in the entire world on Chinese New Year compared with any other night of the year. The celebration dates back to the Shang Dynasty in 14th Century BC, and is believed that the use of firecrackers kept the man-eating demon Nian from destroying the village. Fireworks are set off at different points during the festival; ending on the first full moon of the lunar year with the Lantern Festival.


What to write on your Chinese New Year card?


If you are struggling figuring out what Chinese New Year message to include in your card, we have lots of different options available. Messages in Lunar New Year cards do tend to be a little formal but feel free to add your own personal touches. However, it should be noted that it is not quite the same as sending cards for other holidays, and there are definitely some words or phrases that are considered not to be appropriate or are believed to be bad luck.


Traditional Chinese New Year messages


Some of the most popular traditional Chinese New Year greetings include:

#1 Happy Spring Festival

Happy Spring festival! Chinese New year quote for your card


(chūnjié kuàilè)


#2 Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year quote!


(xīn nián kuài lè/ sun nin fai lok)


#3 Happy New Year and we wish your family happiness.

Happy New Year and we wish your family happiness!


(xīn nián kuài lè, hé jiā xìng fú)


#4 Wishing you wealth and prosperity!

Wishing you wealth and prosperity - a saying for Chinese new year greetings


(gōng xǐ fā cái)


Happy Chinese New Year Greetings in English


If you prefer to write your Chinese New Year messages in English, you could include phrases such as:

  • Hope the New Year brings health, wealth and prosperity!
  • May you come into a good fortune in the Year of the Ox!
  • I wish you a prosperous new year from my family to yours.
  • Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true.
  • May the Year of the Ox provide health, stability and success!


When to send your Chinese New Year card?

When you send your postcard for Chinese New Year will depend on where you are and where your recipient is located. For example, if you are sending your post internationally, you will usually want to give plenty of time in advance.  This is particularly important this year, as the COVID pandemic may have affected postal services in some countries.

Top Tip: Use MyPostcard to send Chinese New Year messages from anywhere to anywhere. We have several printing outlets, located in the UK, Australia, Germany and the USA. As a result, we can often offer a quick and speedy delivery to many locations around the world.


Happy Chinese New Year from us to you! May the Year of the Ox bring health, wealth and success to all.


The next big occasions on your calendar

Make sure you check out our quotes for other occasions this year! Next up… Easter and Mother’s Day! Or maybe you have some friends’ birthdays coming up?