over tea and red envelopes

I skipped my cousin’s wedding dinner last night. I was at the lunch reception though when he brought his bride home for the tea ceremony. Needless to say, all of our relatives were there (except for the ones who decided to boycott the event for reasons best known to themselves 😉 ).

If you ask me, the holiday season is the worst time to be meeting up with hordes of family and relatives if you don’t want to stress yourself out. But if I hadn’t gone, I swear I would never hear the end of it either. So!

At the tea ceremony, the newly-weds offer tea to the elders as a form of respect and for the elders to acknowledge the new family member. Well, I was hoping we (that’s me and Hip2bDad) wouldn’t be called up to receive the tea because I really wasn’t in the mood for this. I was there purely out of obligation, that’s all. But you guessed it, we got called up!

It’s customary to give the newly-weds an angpow (red envelope) each as a gift for their tea offering. My kids later told me one of the bridesmaids had been assigned to note down the name of each giver on the red envelope. That, I presume, was to open the envelopes later and see how much money each contained. They apparently did the same thing at dinner last night where it’s customary to give another red envelope as the dinner gift. Only Steev and Hip2bDad went as we were issued only 2 invites. I stayed home with the girls.

Weeks before we even got the invites, I offered to help my uncle and aunt with the wedding arrangements. I even offered to help cook for the lunch reception but was told they’d be hiring caterers. Anyhow, I’m still puzzled as to why my kids were excluded from the wedding dinner. Surely it can’t be because someone figured our gift wouldn’t be big enough to cover the cost of the posh dinner at the JW Marriott for our family of 5. After all, this is the uncle who recently helped his son (the groom) buy a million-dollar home.

It’s interesting though that when I got married, this uncle and his siblings came with their 11 kids to our wedding dinner. Of course, our hotel was nowhere as posh as the new downtown Marriott! And the gifts my dear uncles and aunts collectively gave us? Five items of re-gifted and outdated electrical appliances they had received at their weddings ten years before!

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