My living room is decked with Chinese New Year decor. We have a huge big red lantern at the front door, plenty of corny greetings on the wall which I have no idea what is written there and the mandatory Chinese pussy willow with the hanging stuffs.
Last year, we didnt do any Chinese New Year gathering because we just moved into this new place and everything was topsy turvy. But this year, I took a leap of faith and opened and Event page. Invited all my in-laws, from the sisters of my husband to their children to their grandchildren and even a great-grandniece of my hubby.
Technically, I am a great grand-aunt. Not many people have that privilege so I must treasure it. Frankly, I dont even know what the little girl is supposed to call me. Her mother will call me ‘kim poh’ or grand-aunt. So maybe I am a kim-chor.
I said it is a leap of faith because I may have to single-handedly deal with feeding all my in-laws which can number up to 40-50 people or maybe more. My two sons have pre-warned me that they will need to work during CNY due to the expected high number of guests at their hotel/restaurant.
However, I told myself that I shouldn’t be afraid to deal with it because I had been doing this since I got married. Which means I have had twenty five years of experience dealing with the in-laws. Except that I forget one point – I am getting older and hence, am not as energetic as when I was in my 20s and early 30s. The number of the clans have grown and multiply.
But I am a queen of cheats. I can dish up meals using all the cheats of pre-made curry paste, one-pot dish and more. I dont know why but suddenly, I thought of my late mother-in-law’s reminder that her children must gather together during Chinese New Year.
Not many daughter-in-law has that privilege of being given the task. Moreover, my husband is the youngest. So yeah, I am going to host a lunch for my in-laws on the first day of Chinese New Year. It will be like a tradition from the parents-in-law time. I dont actually fancy doing it because it is hard labour. Yes, it involves sweats and muscles. But I think these little efforts have sealed in my children the importance of family.
These sort of family values can only be instilled when we actually practise it.
Currently, I am focussed on finishing my work. I hope to get everything published and printed by end of this week. Come Saturday, it will be down to serious business of carrying out my mother-in-law’s legacy. Though I don’t pray to her like the previous faith I adopted, I think she will be smiling from heaven.