Chinese New Year has some traditions that are difficult to break. Making visits and receiving guests is one of them.
While I have no problem with receiving guests in my home, I never have “open house” or even selectively invite some close friends over, family members excepted of course!
The stress of organising the food and drinks for a constant, uncertain stream of visitoprs, is enough to put me out, even before the celebrations begin.
Hence, I’m always glad that there are friends and family members who throw such binges and if I’m included, I always make a point to turn up — provided there aren’t overlapping “dos”, which are few and far between.
However, I don’t make “visits” uninvited or invite myself during this festive period to anyone’s home, unless it’s close family or like there’s someone I want to see for a special reason which is almost always health related.
I don’t initiate visits because somewhere over the years I’ve heard repeatedly that once you start visiting someone, it becomes a tradition and the household visited will feel snubbed if for whatever reason you the “regular” visitor doesn’t turn up!
As I don’t want to be trapped into someone’s agenda by initiating the visits, I simply leave it to you to invite me. Then, it’s up to you to break the chain.
This said, I found there’s a gap in this year’s visitors to my home: believe it or not, three regular visitors who turn up for decades without fail on the first or second day of the new year didn’t come this year.
No, my family hasn’t been snubbed.
One has a serious health problem and has cut out all visiting for the time being. Another broke her heel in eight places after falling off a ladder while house-cleaning. The third was fell by a serious case of shingles on Chinese New Year’s eve.
I understand their inability to visit and look forward to welcoming them to my home any time in the days ahead, once they are better!