The year of the Snake. The sssneakiest, sssliest creature. Oh sorry, intuitive, refined and collected.
My whole perception of gifting money has changed since living in Hong Kong. Here we/they give money for Chinese New Year, money for weddings, money for birthdays and money for funerals. Basically everything.
The amounts change depending on the occasion - Chinese New Year you're more or less free to give as much as you want, but no less than the year before and you only have to do this if you're married. For birthdays the money has to have as many 8's in it as possible and for funerals it needs to be in a white envelope (as opposed to red) and an odd number.
So, as a married woman, this week (the week after Chinese New Year) was my big week. The thing is, you don't want to offend anyone. Especially those that really matter, namely the doorman, the super and the maid. Those three have the power to make your life an absolute misery. You know that if you give them anything less than they think fair, you'll be subjected to doors being "accidentally" closed on your face, leaking air conditioners that "we're too busy to fix" and surprise sick days.
There are also the singles who have been single long enough to make Chinese New Year a seriously high revenue period. Take our group secretary. She's single and essentially works for about 300 of us. Her total annual income is probably more than the CEO's.
That said, regardless of who you're giving your red packet to, you know they say people are happier when they give than when they take.
It's so true.