I know that someday you'll find better things.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Better Luck Next Year

"Maybe we should learn a little more about Chinese decorations before we go in there, so we don't accidentally buy any bad-luck ones," I suggested to my family as we pulled into the parking lot of an Asian market.

"Stores don't sell bad luck ones," Russ reasoned. "It would be bad for business. Why would anyone ever want to buy bad-luck ones?"

And that is how we accidentally bought the supplies to deck the halls for a Chinese funeral.
The decorations we purchased-- the oh-so-many decorations-- are beyond creepy. 

What we thought was a colorfully festive tablecloth turned out to be a large paper envelope containing an elaborate symbolic burial ensemble. Shoes. Pants. Tunic. Two tunics, actually. And a particularly peculiar watch made of aluminum foil.

Quite a value for $1.49.

There's more. Lots more. I don't even want to tell you what else, because by midnight, it will all be ashes anyway.

That's the protocol for these items, apparently.  You buy them at the supermarket, and then you bring them home and set them on fire. Deliberately and respectfully, according to the Internet. 

It's okay. To be honest, our Chinese-themed New Year's Eve party was already somewhat cursed. The bahn mi dinner we've planned is Vietnamese, the origami we'll fold is Japanese, and not a single moon cake or fortune cookie could be found in any of the three Asian markets we visited.

So it's a good thing we saved the wrapping paper from Christmas, because we'll need to use it as kindling for our newest party activity: the backyard bonfire.

At 11:59, we'll pay our last respects to 2014--  the joys, the sorrows-- and we'll strike a match to our little suburban pyre.

All of the year's stress will be consumed by the light and the heat; the new year will emerge, clean and innocent and eager to be filled with new joys and new sorrows.

New opportunities for those oddball impulse-purchases that shape our family's lasting memories.

No matter how you spent your 2014 or how you'll welcome your 2015, I'd like to invite you to release the memories you're ready to part with out into this night.

Here's to better luck next year.

Time flies. This time will fly into the night, and that's a good thing.

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