Happy Chinese New Year, everybody! Hope your time with family was a good solid one like mine was!
I was fortunate enough to to get the whole week off this year and chose to spent the entire bulk of it at home — in Penang. It was so good from start to finish, except for a small problem I seem to be facing with Penang air that left me breaking out all over and triggered more than a few allergies, sigh. But all in all it was a great trip that had all the key ingredients — good food, lots of angpau and more than enough family time.
It was a double celebration, may I add, because this year is also my grandma’s 80th birthday! The timing couldn’t be more perfect as it allowed family members from near and far travel back to celebrate the auspicious occasion together.
It was a grand do and not at all half bad for an effort literally put together through WhatsApp messages and emails hahaha.
The lady of the hour herself, my maternal grandmother. I’m often told I look a lot like my paternal grandmother but if there’s one thing I sort of take after this grandma, it’s my feisty nature and sometimes not-so-temperate temper, hehe. And hopefully I’ll also be as strong and healthy as she is at the ripe old age of 80!
But first, angpau!
Even the littlest one knows her priorities, hehehe.
All my pretty yee yee’s, the 5 sisters of the family. OK I call dibs now: in 30 years time, I want Tai Yee’s grace and kindness, Zi Yee’s wit and intelligence, Sam Yee’s nurturing and encouraging spirit, my mum’s will and strength and Xiao Yi’s grit and drivenness. With all the powers combined, I will be a superwoman who can take on anything and anyone, just like these ladies. Thank you very much!
Entertainment was also taken care of by one very pretty little Miss Chloe dressed complete in a red cheongsam.
Of course, the boys wasted no time in taking up station at the bar the moment it opened.
A toast to the birthday girl, without whom I think is fair to say we would all not be here.
No good party is complete without a few special words for the birthday girl. Everyone took turns to share their favourite tales and anecdotes about the woman who brought them up, although some anecdotes were shorter than others hahaha.
On top of grandchildren, she has quite a number of great grandchildren as well. Most all of them there are those I now call nieces and nephews. Way to feel old…
I must say I have never seen her smile so wide and for so long as that night :)
Back to business — more angpau! Because no one ever complains about angpaus hehehe.
Look at Por Por just making it rain cash hehehe.
One for good luck, another just because it’s her birthday!
Food and angpaus aside, CNY will always be up there on my list of favourite time of the year simply for the special bonding time we get to reconnect with cousins. More than just cousins, actually — aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends. Is there a more inclusive celebration? I think not!
But most of all, it is the best special time for family, which I am beginning to realise with a heavy heart, is getting more and more scarce the older I get. Growing up takes away a lot of the fun we’re accustomed to as kids; it steals away very precious time that used to flow freely when we were still in school.
But that’s not going to stop us from still making the most out of whatever little we can squeeze from our busy schedules.
Responsibilities and life obligations are aplenty but we only have one when it comes to family. And I’m glad I have this one and that everyone in it is healthy and happy. (Missing you Benny but you’re always here with us in our hearts until you return home next!)
Happy Chinese New Year again everyone! Hope you’re having a great one thus far. If it’s not quite meeting expectations yet, not to worry, there’s still about a week more of it!
Gong Xi Fa Cai!