Every year before the turn of the new year, we're supposed to clean our houses in preperation of Chinese New year. That means being roped into a day of exhausting tidying, sweeping, mopping, wiping ... On the bright side, that means no more cleaning for five whole days afterwards to keep the luck around.
Awkward hugs, uncomfortable kisses and unwanted questions run rampant during holiday gatherings, and etiquette make protesting practically illegal. Just nod and smile, guys. Nod and smile. (Think of the lai see!)
Hi! Uncle I see once a year and don't remember...
Hi uncle, hi aunt, hi great uncle, hi second cousin twice removed ... with marriage, seniority, rankings and so on, a Chinese family is an impossible web that's difficult to keep track of even with a chart. Hey, can we just have name tags?
Making conversation with people you see once a year isn't easy. Doing it over and over again throughout all the visits and gatherings is even harder ... someone should make a video game about this.
So. Much. Food.
Yes, Chinese New Year food is awesome and delicious, but, alas, you still only have one stomach. But, forget it, you've lost the right to say you're full during the holidays. Eat up, and take frequent walking breaks.
Red packet taxes
Don't know what this is? Lucky you. This is when the best thing about CNY - getting lai see - is also the worst thing about CNY: your parents taking them away for "your savings". Why I oughtta ...
Nope, there's no escaping it. Maybe you can turn it into a positive and escapt overwhelming relatives by saying you have homework to get through?
The ultimate guide to surviving Chinese New Year and overbearing relatives, and getting as many lai see packets as possible
Can't we just ... FaceTime?
Visiting your two sets of grandparents' homes with your parents are a must, but then there are the auties and uncles and cousins and those other aunties and uncles ... there's only so much smiling a person can do!
One day, you will be the one handing out red packets, making your children eat more and taking their money. Have fun.