Monday, February 11, 2013

Festively in fashion

Chinese New Year is much celebrated in our household. For my mother-in-law, it's THE event of the year and over the course of two weeks, our kitchen is transformed into a military kitchen as she goes into a culinary frenzy, whipping up goodies from pineapple tarts to carrot and pumpkin kueh.

On top of that, we stock up on all the usual festive yums like love letters, kueh baulu, bak kwa, cashews, pistachios, sweets, etc etc (and only from the tried and tested shops) - enough to feed an army.

Apart from the food, we follow many other CNY traditions, like decorating our home with seasonal motifs (the Ikea snakes made a special appearance this year), buying CNY flowers and adorning our beds with new sheets.

No prizes for guessing what is Andre's favourite colour.  When he wears his red t-shirt and sits on his bed, the effect is pretty surreal.

Among all the CNY traditions though, the one I dislike is getting new pajamas and clothes. It's not that I scorn the custom, it's the shopping bit that I find a big hassle. That's right. I'm one of those rare specimens of the female gender who detest shopping for clothes.

Shopping for myself is bad enough - I usually put aside an afternoon wandering around a mall with maximum potential, hoping to score. Shopping for my kids is even worse. Both of them seem to share my aversion to buying new clothes and their busy schedules pose the perfect foil for escaping this yearly duty.

When I can finally get them to focus on the job at hand, it's a comedy of contrasts. Andre wants to stand out so we go looking for bright, bedazzling colours while Lesley-Anne prefers to blend in so we go searching for dark, sober shades that aren't too funereal for CNY.

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook, "Mission accomplished - CNY clothing bought for everyone in the family. No one should offer any *feedback*. Just wear it."   Way to go, sista! Commandeer the project, Nazi style.

Actually, we did this with the pajamas this year.  Since it was tough enough finding the time to bring them shopping for clothes, we didn't bother with the democratic route for the PJs.  At the nearby pasar malam, we bought one set with a giant teddy bear for Lesley-Anne and Andre was presented with a Power Rangers set (which horrified him). I figure, nobody's gonna see you when you're sleeping so as long as they're comfortable, who cares if the print isn't age appropriate.

In the end, we did manage to get the day clothes to everyone's liking. Lesley-Anne even agreed to wearing a modern-style cheongsam as she needed one for a future school event. Job done for the year!

金龙腾飞辞旧岁 , 玉蛇起舞迎新春!



Lilian said...

Such a great photo, everyone looks fantastic! Gong Xi Fa Cai to the Tans, wishing you tonnes of blessings all year long. I haven't bought new clothes in some years :P Arduous process. No new pjs and no new bedsheets for sure. If you buy new bedsheets every year, wont' there be loads of bedsheets in the house??

Anonymous said...

Oh the carrot cake looked absolutely delicious! What a lovely family you have!

Gong Xi Fai Cai!


Anonymous said...

Dear Monica,
Wah so much kueh!
I share the pain re. buying of new clothes. Multiply that by the throngs of people in the malls. hehehehe ... definitely a siong operation.



monlim said...

Grace: I know, squeezing among hordes of people trying to get their hands on new clothes, plus knowing that when you finally find one you like, it's never in the size you want - PAIN!

A very blessed new year to you and your family too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mon...I cannot stop eye-balling the pineapple tarts, must be tasting as good as it looks!

I have already dropped you an email.

qx :)

monlim said...

QX: The pineapple tarts are... all gone! Yummm.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! I thought you can ship some to me too.... :)


monlim said...

QX: Haha, sorry, out of stock :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Mon, should have read your post earlier..I completely forgot to get the clothes, PJs etc. Somehow being away from Asia means you have to mentally remember things instead of assuming the shops will remind you. You guys also did the family photo well! Happy CNY and God Bless!
xoxo The CHANs

monlim said...

Sarah: Yeah, it's tough when overseas, it's still a regular work and school day. Happy CNY to you and your family!!

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