Almost everyone knows the drill. Clean everything, repay all debts, settle all arrangements before the new year arrives. Then, have a reunion dinner on new year's eve, perhaps watch the fireworks and firecrackers scare all the evils of the past year, and if you are lucky, get to watch a lion dance! After all that, land with a plunk on your bed, get up early, and ready the house for any visitors willing to stop by. Then comes the good part, get ang pows loaded with money! That is, if you're still a child and unmarried, or else you'll be the one crying about empty pockets. Let it go on for 15 days, and that's the festival simplified. (Of course, there are a handful of superstitions to adhere to, but that's another story...)
Nothing is without form and substance. However, substance is always over form, for what is form if there is no substance to define it? Point is, Chinese New Year is not about having the best food, watching the most well-coordinated lion dance, or even getting the most ang pow money! (Yes, I love my ang pows, as a child I'm afraid I must gobble them all up, but that's not what I meant) Eventhough you are alone with these, the spirit of these celebrations would never be with you. It is family that matters. The ones that comforts you when you're down, and jumps with you when you're elated; that's them. No matter how much you can't stand them, or despise them (or turn them to stone), it's not like you can choose them! Everything happens for a reason, and there's one to why your family is, well, your family.