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.