I posted on Facebook that I’m a ‘old-body’ at heart. Of all the festivals, I look forward to Chinese New Year the most. The significance of spring cleaning, away with the old and welcoming of the new; the acts of giving home a new coat of paint, new light bulbs, new curtains, bedsheets and for family members, new sets of towels, clothes and shoes. These kept me busy in anticipation for weeks. But nothing rejuvenates me more than the coming together of loved ones – aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces – at Chinese New Year. Over the years, some practices have evolved. We no longer gather at my maternal Grandma’s house for reunion dinner on CNY Eve; instead, we head out to a restaurant and different uncles and aunties will take turns to host the extended family. However, each time we meet, that instant connection and rekindling of shared memories over endless supplies of CNY goodies and good food round the table…I would not trade anything in the world.
|Reunions at restaurants…|
This year, I plucked up courage to bake some CNY cookies to bless my relatives and some friends. My virgin attempts turned out not too shabby and I was relieved they were well-received. It is a family tradition where I wish to pass it on to Dana; she enjoyed being my little helper in folding in the dough. Kids are kinesthetic learners after all. We baked 3 types of cookies: Macadamia White Choc with Coconut, Cranberry and Sesame. Though it’s time consuming, I find it therapeutic to bear home-baked gifts to add some warmth to the festive season. I guess it resonates strongly with my love language of gift giving.
|Nicely packaged cookies to go|
We threw my Mother-in-Law a 67th Birthday lunch in KL and Dana picked up the Chinese Ribbon and Fan Dance from her on CNY morn. She was delighted to meet Stephanie, her little cousin, who’s just 1 year younger than her. It’s heartwarming to see the two play together like long lost sisters despite the geographical distance that separates them. For Daddy, the yearly sojourn back to Malaysia to be with his immediate family holds great sentimentality too.
|When cousins meet…|
The visitations continued back here in Singapore upon our return. We exchanged mandarins with auspicious greetings, blessed the elders and kids with red packets and ate copious pineapple tarts. On Sunday afternoon, we set aside time to bring Dana and Caleb to watch ‘Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians’ at the Kids Fest 2014 which turned out to be one of the most entertaining kids shows ever (stay tuned for our review coming up tomorrow). Kids Fest is running till next Sunday, Feb 9th so do catch it if you can.
|Here at Kids Fest 2014!|
On Sunday evening, we sneaked a visit to the Logos Hope ship which was docked at HarbourFront. Logos Hope is continually sailing year round and normally stops for two weeks at each port of call. Since the launch into active service in February 2009, she has been in several regions: Northern Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and most recently South Asia. Logos Hope boasts the world’s largest floating book fair featuring over 5,000 different titles of educational and Christian books and a pictorial presentation called the ‘Journey of Life’, which is based on the story of the “Prodigal Son”. The all volunteer crew and staff of 400 people come from over 45 different countries and they live on board for two years as volunteers. We spoke to one from Georgia, one from Cambodia and one from the Netherlands. How amazing!
|Finally at the Logos!|
|Book shopping during CNY – not a taboo for us!|
We ended our long CNY weekend with a spontaneous dessert stop at the popular Jamie’s Italian Cafe located inside Vivocity. We shared a Tiramisu and a Brownie, deliberately slowing down the manic pace of the visitations to enjoy the company of our little family, just us 3. It’s the perfect ‘reunion’ meal for us, since Daddy, Dana and I all have sweet tooth. The desserts at Jamie’s were sooooo good Daddy brought us back for lunch the next day.
|Sweet start to the Year of the Horse!|
There are still 10 more days of Chinese New Year to go – a couple more dinner gatherings with the extended family, a Sentosa garden wedding of a dear colleague and two water-themed birthday parties of Dana’s friends. The schedules are packed and my work is picking up pace but the festivities will be gone all too soon, so let’s revel in it while it lasts. Hope you’re also enjoying a blessed time of reunion with your loved ones! Happy New Year to you and yours 🙂