A Different Chinese New Year

This year's Chinese New Year felt somewhat ... different.

Change #1 - A lighter dinner

The festive celebration kicked off with our reunion dinner at my mom's place. Throughout dinner my brother and sister shot daggers at me from their eyes for my faux Yu-sheng. I did tell them I would bring something over in place of the usual Yu-sheng. Guess they really wanted Yu-sheng to feel festive.

Usually reunion dinner is a big affair in my mom's place. We used to have eight- or nine-dish extravaganza year after year. But this year, after many years of persuasion by us, my mom relented and agreed to tone down for this year's meal.

Our dinner menu
- fish maw abalone soup
- stewed medley of dried oysters, dried scallops and some sort of black weed that looks like dried hair
- my mom's signature meat roll
- steamed fish
- a cold-dish entree, which much resembled what we used to get when we go for wedding dinners made up seasoned jellyfish, seasoned scallops, century eggs, top shell, prawns salad
- roast pork
- roast chicken
- faux yu-sheng
- glutinous rice balls (tang yuan 汤圆) for dessert, this was bought by my brother on impulse during the last time trip to the supermarket, but we were all glad to have something sweet to round up the dinner

As usual with such gathering, I was elbow deep in grease with the preparations and brought no camera. I was glad to have come out of the dinner without much of a oil splatter on my clothes.

We had fewer dishes but we all agreed that it was the best dinner yet. As a result we had a less harassed mom and more enjoyable dinner. We even had time for a pre-dinner game of Scrabble and post-dinner games of car racing on PS2.

Change #2 - Red packet-less

Since Hubby's grandma passed away recently, we had to observe the customary mourning period which meant no exchange of well wishes during the Chinese New Year and, therefore, no exchange of red packets. Our little princess was kind of disappointed as she was looking forward to collecting red packets. I am wondering if we had over-drilled her with all the materialistic goals.

Change #3 - A studying holiday

Last week, our little princess came back with her Maths Assessment with a score of 35.5 out of 50 points. When I first saw her results, I started laughing. I laughed cos I had finally produced a daughter who is definitely smarter than me, at least academically. My results are usually in the range of 60-65%.

I was surprised that the format of the assessment was almost like a test I had taken in primary school and that our princess took four days to complete the nine-page assessment (!!??). The assessment revealed that our princess has not quite grasp some of the math concepts yet. So when her school was closed since Tuesday, ahead of the Chinese New Year, we sat down every morning to work on her school work. I lost more hair recently. It is not fun to be a pre-schooler these days, or the mother of a pre-schooler.

Change is the only constant in life.

Now, I will have to convince the whole gang to have another dinner again on the fifteenth day of the lunar new year.


  1. Oh, yr bro & sis's reaction ~ so funny!
    Actually, I prefer the traditional yu-sheng too.

    I like all things done in the original/trad manner. Just too hard to accept creativity, lost the feel/cannot relate if things turn out too differently.

  2. Sigh ...

    Lesson of the experience: Don't be too smart. :(


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