Things I did this Chinese New Year:

1. Gave out lai see packets fairly liberally. I used to get stressed at the number of people in one’s range of sight at that time, and it’s still hit or miss because I do have a limited number of envelopes, but I’ve decided to more or less go on sight, apart from the dedicated security guards in our tower for whom I have special envelopes with a higher amount. It feels good to see people’s faces light up when you give them a lai see, especially since we are not Chinese and so it’s a bit unexpected.

2. Watched the Chinese New Year parade on TV. We’ve never actually braved the crowds to watch it in person, though I guess we could once the kids are older. They would probably love it. It’s total kitsch and surprisingly fun to watch, in the manner of Miss Universe contest, minus the objectification.

3. Read our horoscopes. Two different websites had the opposite predictions so this was abandoned.

4. Watched the lion dance in our estate, which is my favourite thing about Chinese New Year.

Things I did not do:

1. Watch the fireworks. We’ve watched the show live, but not with the kids. This year, I had a plan about where we might go nearby to try and catch it, but it didn’t happen due to reasons mentioned below.

Things I should not have done

1. Caved and taken the kids out in windy weather. Their slight coughs worsened and we had to see a doctor the next morning. Mimi has the most terrible croup at night.