Friday, February 01, 2013

Lunar New Year Gift Packs

9 days to the Lunar New Year. Along with the team, we've packed and sent out all the gift bags for the old folks on our roster today, before the last weekend to the Lunar New Year. Efficiency, max. This is the first year that we've completed packing and deliveries so fast, never mind that we had one funeral (and another soon) to attend to.

So I've plenty of time to organize the Lunar New Year gifts on the personal front. While the man (and his family) and I don't celebrate Lunar New Year per se, and are spared the tedious house visits and bromidic chatter, there're lots of festivities going on with the friends and some extended family. Still need to prep some sort of gifts for the older generation, to reciprocate their hospitality especially for invites over to their homes for meals, especially crucial to feel less embarrassed when for dunno-what-reason, the man and I still receive ang pows from SOME stubborn elders in spite of our constant reminders. However, these are visits that the man and I want to make. These are pleasant visits, not the obligatory perfunctory type.

Our family doesn't particularly fancy snacks, and especially not the traditional Lunar New Year goodies. Bak kwa and pork/lard-anything will never make it past our front door, along with the rest of the whatever bottles of whatever cookies, shrimp rolls and all. Extremely glad that I don't have to be obliged to take that one bite because so-and-so made it. Immensely happy that the man's mother doesn't bother with the season either, and makes no qualms about her disdain for certain customs. She doesn't care that I wear the deepest black from head to toe on the first day of Lunar New Year or for 365 days a year. She doesn't take many of the festive goodies either, and if she feels like having some, she's so finicky about the source of production that she prefers to buy it herself. Heh. It certainly makes my life easier because I've heard plenty of real-life horror stories about daughters-in-law having to buy the customary Lunar New Year gifts for their mothers-in-law. But I'm getting my mother-in-law humongous bunches of flowers for the house because I know she likes that.

In the face of a mountain of gifted festive goodies landing in the laps of everybody from everywhere, I decided not to add to the buttery crumbles. Not bothered to arrange for hamper delivery with the stores. Not concerned with keeping up appearances with people I'm not close to. For loved ones, I'll build my own 'hampers'. My prepped bags don't contain anything like pineapple tarts or almond cookies...the sorts. Bought bottles of Manuka honey, packs and packs of honeycombs, dried shitake mushrooms, kombu, lentils, dried scallops, dates, wolfberries, bird's nest, ginseng powder...items that are vacuum-sealed and can last for months. Items that I know the recipients will use in their cooking. Slowly prepping bags over the weekend and next to be given away.

5 bags packed and counting. 15 more to go.

No comments: