how red is your red packet?

October 17, 2006 at 11:15 p10 (Gathering, Red & White Matters)

just got a call after lunch from an ex-colleague – was invited to melissa (not his real name) son’s full moon party this weekend.  gift and ang pau/hong bao (red packet) time! what to buy and how much to give? headache……

i usually dont give present for red occasion. it is just silly to convert $$ into something bulky in nice wrapper when eons ago our ancestors discovered money as a legal tender so we dont have to carry big stones around as currency.

 while doing away with the headache of getting the suitable gift with my reasoning, there is never a get away from the tough decision of how much to give.

too little, paiseh (shame); too much, ouch! (heart ache)

I worked out the following….

CAT1: acquientance, not-to-close fren…. market rate

CAT2: close friends & relatives… market rate + $100~$200

CAT3: very close friends & relatives… market rate + $200~$400

well, the above also depends on the size of my entourage…

i will have no problem sorting out the red packet for this one invitation.  melissa had once save me from a potentially career wreaking project which i suspect was politically motivated and directed in my direction. she came back to the office during her maternity confinement leave for a week to sort out the mess in this project for me. i am just glad she gave me a chance to repay her in kind.



  1. angel said,

    she’s your saviour then hv to give more loh… maybe can get some gold anklet, necklace or bracelet? (or is this too lou tou ah??)

    4f: good suggestion.

    then hor, u can also ask her what’s her “secret” in the success of her Baby Projeck 😉

    4f: aiyoh, how to ask?

  2. Mick said,

    Now you know why a church wedding buffet reception is far preferred to a traditional Chinese wedding dinner. The former saves time and money while the latter wastes both.

    4f: yup, and the wedding march was so romantic too especially those very old churches like St Andrew & Cathedral of the Good Shepard!

  3. Mick said,

    Considering the big favor which Melissa had done you before, giving her a big ang-pao out of your gratitude towards her, surely woudn’t be any problem at all 🙂

    4f: yup, u r right!

  4. wuching said,

    aiyo..i wanna be in ur cat 3 wor!

    4f: no prob. will bring my yi-ma gu-teh as well if you dont mind. 😉

  5. velverse said,

    Haha… where do I slip in? But then again… Think it will be a long time till I receive a red packet from u.

    4f: ya i agree. it will be faster for me to give you one, right? 🙂

  6. Kenny Ng said,

    so expensive one ah in S’pore for the red packet?

    4f: my own estimation only. cannot apply across the island.

  7. Mick said,

    To Kenny Ng: That’s why it’s extremely lugi for a Malaysian to come to Singapore and attend a Chinese wedding dinner :p

    4f: dont worry, when you invite us to your dinner we will know what to do! 🙂

  8. Shooi said,

    wah…red packet really big in Spore hor, even for Cat 2.

    4f: tenkiu for dropping by and leave a comment! the categories are my personal weightage only. i really dont know about the rest of the people in this island.

  9. may said,

    actually hor… I don’t even know what market rate is! now that makes me wonder if I’ve been giving enough… eek!

    4f: 2 years ago, when i hosted my marriage dinner at a hotel, i received a lot of hong baos in the range of rm80-100. i guess the market rate should be somewhere around that range in malaysia.

  10. Leonard said,

    looks like seefei has a deep pocket lei… ang pow also so big one…. market rate got so high meh..

    4f: those are addition to market rate. not deep pocket but sometime relationship cannot be measured by $$. that is the least we can do.

    i jus went to my fren’s daughter 1yr old bday party, share share with frens 3 dresses..hahaha

    4f: it is the thought that counts.

  11. Winn said,

    i usually give the same market rate to all la….no need to farn

    4f: good decision esp when you have so many friends at that marriagable age… 🙂

  12. Cocka Doodle said,

    I would rate her as cat 3. Its hard to find dedicated people like that….coming back from confinement to help you sort out your shit.
    Frankly, I would have given her cat 3 to show my appreciation.

    4f: u r rite. this type of human species already extinct but glad i met one in my lifetime.

    Now, go fish out this comment from your thrash bin. I think WordPress automatically filters every damn thing that has ‘cock’ in it. I have the same problem with LB and Ah may.

    4f: no wonder!

  13. Simple American said,

    What a great friend. Ang pao does make gifts easier. Don’t it?

    4f: yup another great invention from an ancient civilisation

  14. spinnee said,

    if not relative, dun bother to give anklet/necklace etc. tradition is for relatives eg. grandma/aunt to give the mentioned.

    just buy those baby hampers lo?

  15. zara's mama said,

    Wow.. that’s a big angpow there.. That’s in S$ right?

    Btw, what is market rate? Over here.. small small angpow only, but then again, we don’t normally have full moon party.

  16. me said,

    this type of favour, must yee san siong hui!!!!

    ppl do you favour, you repay in kind….by money?! hmmm….doesn’t sound quite right lor. actually, i think pressies reflect more on how much a person really took the time to think about what you need / like. angpows say ‘sorry, i couldn’t even bother to take 5mins to go out and get you something’. it’s just one of my warped opinion, i guess. i’m sure lots of ppl prefer cold hard cash! esp considering how some ppl have absolutely horrid taste *grins*

  17. me said,

    hmmmm…..must make mental note to self to invite fei shld my factory decide to re-open and pop out another bun.

  18. AhTak said,

    Wah ~~~ It’s a must to put her in Cat4 !!!

    How is wish I have such person as my colleague ~

  19. fantastflier said,

    Do I qualify for Cat 3? Grin

    4f: for reply, refer wuching!!

  20. titoki said,

    Now friendshipt is rated with money. GENG!!! Got 3 cats summore. SUPER THE GENG!!!

    4f: social norm lah my dear lady. but since you mention it, next time i will “save on the hong bao for your big days, OK? 😉

    BTW, my nick got a tit in it. How cum it never get trashed into the bin one? *Hiak Hiak Hiak*

    4f: probably the spam filter cant detect lychee muahahah………

  21. Immomsdaughter said,

    Waisehman, so generous ah you…can I squeeze into Cat 2 somehow? I’m not too greedy one *grins*

    4f: sure but dont regret hor. refer reply to wuching! 🙂

  22. ian said,

    Make me your CAT 0, I’ll pay you market price to get you to show up at my function hahahaha…

    4f: sorry dont do ngoi mai home delivery! but let us know when you are comig back here…

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