1. Bring Lots Of Ang Baos!
While newly-weds in their first year will still receive red packets from their elders, you’ll still have to prepare your own for your younger relatives. If you’re unsure about the amount to put in, look online for ang bao guides, or ask your parents for a gauge. Even if you’re not giving them out this year, don’t forget to give ang baos to both your parents, as well as grandparents, as a gesture of good luck and well wishes.
A rookie mistake is packing just enough red packets for the family members you think you’ll visit at a particular house. Chinese New Year visiting plans can be fluid, which means you may drop by to visit your second aunt and nephews unexpectedly (or she might drop in!). That means you may not have enough cash or ang bao packets to budget. There may also be children at your relative’s home you may not know, but you are expected to gift ang baos to.
Always have extra notes and empty red packets stashed in your bag, so you can discreetly leave the room to pack extras if needed. Even if you don’t need them, you can always loan them to your parents or siblings if they’re in a pinch!
2. Work Out A CNY Visit Schedule
Now that you’re married, you have to decide which relatives on which side to visit on both days, as well as reunion dinner schedules. Ask both your parents to see if they’ve any preferences. Traditionally, you should be visiting your husband’s side of the family on the first day, and yours on the second day. But again, it depends on your family’s traditions.
Don’t assume anything with regards to visitation expectations, and be flexible with visiting both sides of your family: your husband’s, and yours. It’s easy to get into arguments over whose side to visit first, but this is one of the many compromises you’ll need to make as a married woman.
3. Note The Proper Addresses For Family Members
By that, we mean your husband’s relatives. Now that you’re married, it’s not proper to be calling everyone “aunty” or “uncle”. It should be “second aunt”, “eldest uncle”, and so on to you. The same rule applies to your husband, too.
Drawing up a family tree for both sides of the family will be helpful, so you know how everyone is related to you. Some couples even make a game out of it, and test each other on how well they know each relative. (E.g. Do you remember if Uncle Chow is older or younger than my mother?) The loser could be tasked to tally up the angpow count- or be the designated driver on drinking nights!
RELATED: What To Call Family Members In Mandarin
4. Get Your Household Ready
If you’ve moved out and are living on your own, don’t forget that mum and dad won’t be around to help you with chores such as spring cleaning, buying new year goodies, and so on. It’s time to be independent, and start stocking up on your own treats and cleaning up for guests.
RELATED: The Busy Woman’s Cheat Sheet To Prepping For CNY
Photo: The Straits Times
5. Be Prepared For The Multitude Of Questions
Now that you’ve tied the knot, the next thing all your relatives will be asking is when you’ll be having children. If you’re not ready to answer that, ask them to look to your husband for an answer, or counter the question with another question (preferably one your relative will be happy answering).
RELATED: Witty Comebacks For Nosey Questions From Your Relatives This Chinese New Year