He is not Santa Claus. More like a spy--FBI agent, CIA, Mafia, worse than IRA, that kind of person! And he does not give you gifts, you must give him things. All year long you have to show him respect--give him tea and oranges. When Chinese New Year's time comes, you must give him even better things-- maybe whiskey to drink, cigarettes to smoke, candy to eat, that kind of thing. You are hoping all the time that his tongue will be sweet, his head a little drunk, so when he has his meeting with the big boss, maybe he reports good things about you. This family has been good, you hope he says. Please give them good luck next year.
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Source Notes: The Kitchen God's Wife (1991). In this passage a Chinese mother explains to her daughter and son-in-law the need to appease the Kitchen God, an integral figure in many Chinese New Year celebrations, and explains some methods of appeasement.
Amy Tan (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tn nmi) (born February 19, 1952) is a Chinese American writer. Citing her mother as "her inspiration," Tan uses the clash of traditional Chinese customs with American customs as the main foundation for her work.
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