Chinese New Year to me now is…

When I was a child, I loved Chinese New Year. I always look forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year eventhough that means travelling 5-6 hours (I think) by bus with my family back to my hometown in Malacca. I still remember clearly waking up early in the morning to the appetising aroma of Maggi Chicken Instant Noodles. We always eat that before travelling. After having breakfast, I was always forced to eat ‘travelling pill’ as I suffered from really bad motion sickness then. I was bad in swallowing tablets so my mother always let me have Coke after that. That always did the trick. I don’t drink Coke anymore now though and that is already a sign that time have changed me.

Once we are in Malacca, we are reunited with my grandparents and extended family members that we don’t get to see often as my Dad was in the navy then and we don’t get to go back often. Both my Mom and Dad are from Malacca and lived nearby so we never encountered the issue of having to be separated from their parents on CNY but now that I am married and my in-law lives in Seremban, I can no longer be with my parents for CNY reunion dinners. During the first couple of years of marriage, I managed to sneak out of my in-laws and dashed back to Malacca on the 1st day of CNY but after Ethan was born, I am no longer allowed to do that. I had to stay until the 2nd day just like any good daughter in-law will.

I really missed having CNY reunion meals with my parents. I realised now that I can no longer do that as every CNY eve will be spent with the in-laws. It is so much different with my in-laws as they live further away from their relatives so we always spend CNY quietly among just us while in Malacca, we are always surrounded by the whole kampung of relatives. It is always a noisy one back in Malacca.

I always sulk and cry in the room on the eve of CNY as my parents burn the fire crackers when the clock strikes 12. I’ll call them but will be unable to talk as I’ll always end up crying instead. 10 years of marriage yet it doesn’t get easier. I still secretly wish to be in Malacca. To go around my uncle and aunts’ houses witnessing them lighting up the fire crackers followed by giving everyone a tight big hug and to wake up early on the first day of CNY to pour tea for my parents…

It’s not the same anymore. I will have to spend a quiet CNY, at least for the first two days now. But now I understand that this is something I have to do, not for myself but for my in-laws because Ethan and Ayden are their only grandchildren at the moment. My boys ARE the noise in their otherwise quiet home. I’ve come to terms that my in-laws are my family too and I should make the most out it. Chinese New Year is all about being with the family. It’s not a time to be selfish.

In my self-centered desires, I failed to see how my in-laws light up every time the boys are back to visit them. It may be a quiet CNY for me but it is everything to them. I may not be able to spend the CNY eve with my parents but I can still see them on Day 2 onward though by then my Mom’s home-cooked reunion Nyonya meals will all be gone dy. 

Darling brought me back to my hometown last weekend. I made these angpow decors for my parents. That’s the only thing I can contribute to them now. Maybe when the kids are older, I can start baking again.

chinese new year diy angpow lanterns

What about yourself? Is your Chinese New Year still the same or has it changed over time too?

11 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    I feel you because I like to be with my family too. I know of other families spending one CNY reunion with one side and then the other side the next year, take turns so it seems more fair that way.

    CNY to me is all the same, that’s why I never take any extra days off work.

  • //

    Not the same anymore – the family togetherness thing is a thing of the past, members of the family are all over the world, not able to come back…or they are not bothered to do so. Others would prefer to take the time off to go on a holiday. Sad that the family unit is falling apart, the extended family is extinct. Possibly the reason for all our social problems these days.

    We do not have a grand celebration…but I would stick around for my old parents’ sake…my father is 90, my bedridden mum is in her mid-80’s. Means a lot to them, I’m sure.

  • //

    I have bad motion sickness too whenever I’m on a plane, train, boat or car, vomit terribly ~>_<~

  • //

    It definitely changed over years. Very merry as kids. Always enjoy the days of spring cleaning and preparing the house for cny. Mum will be busy cooking a feast for reunion dinner.

    Now that I am married I have to do such thing but not a big feast as my mum. She is a great cook! ^^

  • //

    Very touching story, you definitely grow older and wiser. Have a Happy Chinese New Year ahead!

  • //

    When I was a kid, CNY means money making time. No need to give anything and get all the angpaos. Today, CNY is negative revenue time. I spend more than I receive from angpaos. I cringe to imagine what it will be like when I have a girlfriend and when I get married and have kids >.<

  • //

    Merryn….very good…make me cry…tergaru habis…huhuhu

  • //

    Ok…I still remember your air-cond story.

    At least Malacca is still the same jalan from Seremban ,making your trip back shorter.

  • //

    I terbalik from you. Cny is so much quieter in ipoh than my in laws place. It’s unlike my childhood time where it’s so much fun. I guess my wife shared the same sentiment as you. She’s so happy where one year we celebrate reunion at my in laws place.

  • //

    By a post script you made it easy for me to comprehend. Yours tergaru.

  • //

    Reading this post tells me one thing, Merryn is so much wiser after being a mother of two now.Everyone would miss their parents and hometown especially on festive season like CNY.

    It is definitely not the same at all if it is going to celebrate in in-laws place. However, your parents in law will be even lonelier if you guys are not there with them.

    You will be blessed for being filial and thoughtful to your aging parents, inclusive your in-laws.

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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