Chinese New Year 2016 is only a few days away and many people are rushing to buy and stock up new year goodies like festive cookies and candy of all kinds. While I go to the mall nearby every day and is tempted to buy some of those delicious goodies whenever I walk past the festive pushcarts, I have yet to buy anything this year.
So why am I not buying or stocking up New Year goodies yet? Well, to be honest, I don’t plan to do that this year and it is because I have learnt my lesson from the past few years.
First and foremost, most people visit family members on the first two days (which are public holidays) of Chinese New Year, and by family members, I mean the elders or the older folks. My husband and I usually spend the first day visiting his parents, my mum and then my Grandmother. On the second day, we usually visit my husband’s Uncles and Aunties, and then my uncles and aunties. No one comes to our place on these two days.
Secondly, based on our experience over the past few years, we might not even have anyone visit our home throughout the entire festive season. Friends usually arrange a gathering and those of us who are married and have kids usually just meet one home, whoever might be playing host for the year. It may or may not be us.
Thirdly, in the event that we end up playing host, we can still purchase drinks and goodies after the first two days of Chinese New Year. By then, even those supermarkets that closed during the festive season would already be open. So there is really no need to join the long queues prior to Chinese New Year.
Fourthly, buying goodies after the first two days of Chinese New Year can be a money-saving thing because by then, most shops are looking to clear out the goodies and some items would be on sale. Plus, if no one is actually going to visit us the entire festive season, buying all those goodies is actually a waste of money.
Lastly, I really want to minimise food wastage this year. Over the past few years, I have bought a lot of New Year goodies. If we have visitors that year, then it is good because our guests will enjoy the goodies. However, there were some years that we didn’t play host to anyone during the entire festive season due to various reasons. There was one year when my dad was hospitalised throughout the entire Chinese New Year. There was also the year that one of my kids was still a small baby and we ended up deciding that we would be too tired to clean up after guests left, and we didn’t open our place for anyone to visit.
For whatever reason we had few or no guests at all, all the new year goodies would sit on the snack trolley until the middle of the year and I finally threw them away when they had expired. Whenever that happened, I would feel bad, knowing I had wasted both food and money.
Don’t get me wrong though. I am not saying that I will not buy any new year goodies this year. I am just saying that I will not rush to buy them now. Once we have confirmed that there are indeed family and friends who will be visiting us, I will make plans to buy them. By then, maneuvering my son’s stroller among the aisles at the supermarket will probably be an easier task too, with lesser people pushing trolleys full of new year goodies.