I have seen my Chinese New Year tradition shedding it's skin year after year as I grow older. I have never liked festivities even when I was a kid. I find designated celebrations stifling especially when there are conditions and conventions. It's not my kind of thing.
I remember back then the mad rush, the massive cook up, the extreme weather and price hike are still the norm today. Strangely, the price hike in food during this mad season of joyful diversion is accepted by everyone whether we like it or not. Last year we had our recurring Lion dance at the house but the performers did it so halfheartedly we decided not to have them back again. These days a hundred dollars dance is frowned upon but a thousand dollar one might still have the sensational acts and artistic moves.
More and more people I know, though not many, have come to a realization and adapted to the change in what we used to know as tradition. Some of them refuse to join in the insanity of going back to their hometowns on the same day as thousands of other celebrants but stagger their before and after visits. Some just choose to hole up in quiet and unassuming places with their small knit families to spend quality time.
Celebrations are a wonderful thing but I fail to see the reason for doing them only on specified times other than following a set of rules our forefathers laid out in a time when transportation and telecommunication were non existent. I love the idea of having a get together whenever there's an opportunity to do so with families and friends. No need to wait for a season when commercials remind us of them or the price hikes or sales goad us into believing that it's the norm, because ultimately we are the ones who have the power to be happy with the ones we love anytime of the year.