Bah humbug!

Glad it’s over… the Lunar New Year, I mean. I used to enjoy it but with each passing year, it’s becoming more and more of a chore. Maybe times have changed. Maybe I’ve become disillusioned. Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

The superstitions: First off, I’m not into the tradition of decorating the house with red decor and lucky plants and symbols, and eating food with auspicious names. So I don’t even bother. I’m no expert but I just can’t see how eating auspiciously named food will make you rich, or having some lucky plant in your home will bring you good luck. If this were true, everyone on Planet Earth would be a freakin’ millionaire.

Relative amnesia: I have some relatives who keep asking the same old questions every year and I keep giving them the same old answers every year. I thought amnesia only happens in soap operas. Some of my relatives are archaeologists, constantly digging for new info. And some of them are bullet trains, boasting non-stop for 3 hours straight.

Boycotting Chinese restaurants: We avoid dining at Chinese restaurants for the length of the Lunar New Year. It’s something we’ve been doing for years. For someone who doesn’t enjoy getting ripped off, paying through the nose for food that’s nothing special except that they come with auspicious names just don’t cut it for me. No thanks!

The gifting contest: It used to be that the exchange of gifts was purely symbolic. Over the years, however, gift giving has become more and more of a contest. Gifts have become ever bigger and more expensive because people are either trying to show off how rich they are, or they’re trying to get into the good graces of their rich relatives. Frankly I’ve got better things to do than compete for who brings the biggest and most expensive gifts.

Wherefore manners: In the good old days, we would greet our elders by their titles like Second Aunt or Grand Uncle. These days, you would be hard-pressed to hear your nieces and nephews (or even your adult relatives) greet you by your title. All you get these days (if they even bother to greet you at all!) is “Hello, happy new year!”. Excuse me, hello who??? As a younger person (doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80), you always greet someone older by their title. Good manners have definitely gone down the drain.

The animal factor: I read that the year of the goat is not a good year to have kids, and some couples were opting for C-sections to have their babies born before the new year. A bit extreme, don’t you think? Well, it seems someone’s always coming up with these kinds of predictions like oh, this is a bad year for this animal year, yada yada yada and people would actually believe them. And don’t even get me started on the feng shui nonsense. All I have to say is – be kind, be compassionate, keep your fingers off what’s not yours, eat less seafood and you’ll be just fine.

I prefer to spend my Lunar New Years across the planet. I don’t drink or gamble and I find LNY songs annoying so I’m not missing much. I find it infinitely more fun hanging out at home with my kids over some good old home-cooked food ala Thanksgiving or Christmas. So yeah!

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