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Friday, February 23, 2007

Chinese New Year

New Year Visiting

We've met less people this year compared to the last, partly because of timing issues, poeple taking the chance to take a family holiday, and other unhappy family circumstances such as divorce/ death, especially of the elderly matriachs of the families.

I lost a god-granny on my Dad's side last year and E lost his maternal granny the previous year. Thus losing the glue that held many generations of families together.

Where do you go now for the huge gatherings where everybody congregated, when Granny is no longer around? Do you still have that huge gathering? At the eldest son/ daughter of the martriach who doesnt remember your name? Neither does the granny, but that's a totally different matter.

Part of me feels relief from having not to make forced conversation (though this is less a chore now that the 2 kiddies provide enough theatrics to entertain the whole room at their current age, in fact, I could hardly have a decent conversation even when I want to...) while the other part of me feels sad with weakening of such family ties...


Too many lou-heis, but thankfully just 1 month (from 2 weeks before CNY and the full 15 days of the festivities), and even more thankfully, i like the dish :D

In the era where fast food is available on the 1st Day of CNY, scheduling to eat at a relative's open house complete with food is no longer a necessity, but it is still nice to be able to eat some hot home cooked food when ever.

It just spells family warmth and friendship.

Transferring Angpows

Is Chinese New Year about money?

That's how I came away feeling after visiting my nanny. I usually meet her on the 2nd day, too late to have met her grandchildren who visits her on the 1st day. So I've taken to leaving my ang pows for them with her to pass to them when she sees them next (goodness knows when tho), and their parents leave their angpow for my kids with her too.

This year, when I attempted to do the same, my Nanny says that my uncle said no need to exchange, so 麻烦, and to just "return" my angpow intended for his children to my kids... besides, we give the same amount in the angpow every year...

But but but I thought i was wishing the children 身材健康, 快高长大, 学业进步? Just transfer the angpow to my kids? Do the wishes still go through or are they transferred as well?


Chinese New Year Gifts

I bought much less gifts (the bak kwa, biscuit goodies, limpets, etc) this year compared to previous years.

Mostly because some people just dont like whatever you bought, even if the stuff are really nice and you really like them yourself

So why bother? Lets not do for the sake of good will, good wishes or face.

Ah, but the abalone, orange and the angpow cannot be leat out lah.

Money well spent

I donated $100 to World Vision's Share a Bowl of Rice with Needy Childre in Laos.

One of the best gifts I've given this CNY.

Just rice, not abalone, not new clothes or shoes, not money in a red packet to be fritted away at a kiddy gambling table.

Just RICE.

But i know it is well needed and well appreciated.

And it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Just like the Goat and School Bags with supplies that I bought last Christmas from World Vision's Life-Changing Gift Catalogue 2006, and the winter clothings the previous Christimas.

Last year's Christmas gift via World Vision was $140, just about the amount i spent on gifts for my family too. But the difference between the 2 was giving a lifeline to people who needed them, and (more likely than not) adding to the pile of toys soon to be used, spoilt and discarded.

I just might start spending more on the World Vision gifts from now on, afterall, we are already blessed with roof over our head, abundent food and clothing and toys (or whatever you call your latest geek stuff), work opportunities, creature comforts and lots more.

My kids will understand. They have to.

Or else.

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