- Wear bright colourful clothes, red is the best when visiting your boyfriend-to-be, steady boyfriend or in-laws. If you have kids, get them to wear red too.
Believe me, it is worth the trouble. It pays to polish the mothers-in-law because she can makes life very difficult or she can be your pal.
- When visiting old folks, remember to bring them oranges, 8 of them, a packet of groundnuts and an angpow. If you are in a relationship and wants to be in the good book of your future in-law (both male and female), this works. A young lady/man can give angpow to an elderly person (say very old like 60+ years). It significies old age (good health) and good luck. And sometimes, the old people will appreciate the additional money.
Alternative to orange, how about bringing persimmons? Many old people like persimmons because it is bright red and comes from China. These old people love anything from China, especially china-doll? Oranges tend to make people cough because of the mould growing on the rotten ones.
- And if you want to be the super-duper daughter-in-law, winning over all the other daughters-in-law, bring a pot of thong-sui (dessert) to your mil. It doesn’t take a lot of time to throw some red dates, dried longans, white fungus, fresh lotus seed, fresh gingko into a pot and boil with rock sugar. Wish mil that her year be as sweet as the thong-sui.
- Oh ya, make sure that your kids have rehearsed their Gong Xi Fa Cai wishes well.
I bet that with the above few steps, you are going to be the favourite of your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse parents, grandparents, tai-yee-mah, tai-yee-cheong, tai-pak, tai-sam, koo-cheong, bleargh.
BTW, when giving angpows, think of the needy. Give generously to your office pantry lady, janitors, guards, office assistants, neighbours’ kids of different races, give to everyone because what you give, will come back to you ten-fold. Forget about wanting to have ‘face’ with your rich relatives and wanting to keep up with them. Those damn, rich kids will never appreciate your money and will probably throw them away within minutes buying something they don’t need. And no matter how much you give, they are going to compare with others. Use your money to give to those in need, instead.
May your new year be less stressful with the above tips.