The above is a picture of "Ang Pau" packets. It is sort of like a red envelope for you can put money inside. Since it is for Chinese New Year, they normally comes in red or anything bright with pictures or nice Chinese wordings wishing all a prosperous new year.
This year, Chinese New Year falls on Valentines Day. What a coincident. Most Chinese (still dating) couples especially if they both comes from different states, would be miles apart on Valentines Day, this year. Normally the first day of Chinese New Year we would spent it with our immediate family members.
This celebration last for 15 days in which during these days, married couple are to hand out "Ang Pau" to children and all those who are still single regardless of age, actually. Well, there are those elderly people who are single give "Ang Pau" to their nieces and nephews. That's why when you are not married and in your late thirties or forties, it is quite embarrassing to receive "Ang Pau" from someone younger than you.
I read in the papers sometime ago, about this 2 ladies from U.S who open a shop for people to exchange their Christmas gifts. No money was involved and it is a non profit company. It seems that every year, thousands of people would return their gifts to shops in exchange for money. Malaysian shops won't allow that. So now they can exchange it in this special shop for anything you like, even though the value is much more or less.
Why not, all start giving "Ang Pau" , money or gift vouchers from now on. This way we save all the trouble going shopping, cracking our heads as to what to buy for who. At least you won't end up getting the same gift from different friends and relatives.
I stop buying presents for my sons on birthdays, long time ago, since they started schooling. I give them money every year. It is up to them to buy something they like or save the money in the bank. That way I don't have to see their disappointed look in their face when I bought the wrong gifts.
I would like to wish all Chinese a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thanks for reading.