My Most Cherished Family Holiday Traddition

The holidays are all about tradition. What is your most cherished family holiday tradition? Tell us about it, how it came to be, and why it's special to you.

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If you ask me this question 10 years ago, the answer would never be the Tet holiday or Luna New Year. However, living overseas for 5 years now, our family Tet traditions are the ones that I missed the most. There are many great posts that explain Tet's tradition such as making the Chung cake (a savoury rice cake) or decorating houses to prepare for the holiday so I won't go into details.

My parents have a grocery store in our village market so the Tet holiday is the busiest time of the year. When I was small, on the last days of the lunar year, my brother and I would have to wake up very early in the morning (around 2 am) to help our parents prepare for the Tet markets. I was always envious of other children that could stay up late and enjoy playing time with each other while my brother and I would have been asked to go to bed early at 8 pm so we could wake up early the next day.

We didn't decorate the house properly to welcome Tet as my parents were always tired after long working hours. Hence, only my brother and I tried to do as much as we can to clean and tidy up the house. It was a memorable time for sure but it is not the most cherished one that I want to share with you today.

I have never shared this secret, not even with my close friends. I used to tell them that I had a sweet and caring dad, even though he was not. I was jealous when hearing beautiful stories from my friends about their dads so I told them so. Now I understand the power of expressing our true feelings and how it heals our soul. Therefore, I want to be honest with myself and with you, my dad had never been a good dad during my childhood. It is so easy for him to lose his temper and it was quite common in our family that he would shout at us and call us stupid or other not-so-good things. I don't want to go much into details as this post is about the cherished moment of our family.

**So back to the main topic, my dad has one tradition on the first day of the year that makes him the best dad in the world. He always wakes up early on that day to prepare a yummy meal for our family and he told us that on the first day, it is bad luck to scold us so he would try his best to calm his nerve.

To a small girl at that time, it was everything. I was always looking forward to the first day of the year, not because of beautiful clothes, yummy food or lucky money we got, it is a chance to meet the dad of my dream. A sweet and loving daddy that I always wish to have. I enjoyed every moment of the first day of the year. My dad is so calm during the day and the way he spoke to us is full of love and care.**

Growing up, I have a better understanding of why my dad does not know how to show affection to us. He experienced a difficult childhood and did not get love from his parents. They hate him for some reason and they hate us as well. But funny things are whenever they were in trouble, they would find him to handle things for them.

I now understand his true personality is the warm Daddy that I meet on the first day of the year. The other one is just him wearing a thick-layer mask to protect himself from difficulties in his life. Now when I saw him playing with my newborn niece, I can confirm that. He is really a sweet and warm man. It is just his difficult life that makes him a not-so-good father.

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Our only photo together. This was taken in 1992 - I am the small girl in the red clothes

To my daddy, thank you so much for giving me the best version of a dad even though you didn't have one. You didn't know how to be a good dad because you hadn't seen one in your life. I appreciate what you did for us and now I understand you were trying to be the best dad but you just didn't know how. You just finished primary school and then went to work, to make a living. I think for the life journey you had chosen, you have been doing the best you can to learn your lessons.

I know my dad will never be able to read this post but at least writing it down and sharing it with you, helps me to recall the beautiful moments and tell the little Dora that her father was doing the best he can and she should be proud of him. It is not a lie to her friends that Dora has the same caring and loving Dad as everyone else.

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Thank you for reading my post. This is my entry post for the @ladiesofhive contest. Thank you @elizabethbit for the questions and my dear friends @trangbaby for inviting me to this contest.

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