Entertaining Guests During CNY (Part 1) – Greeting Grown-ups

Host the adults in the family with better age-appropriate talk and amusement.

By Chris Ong        29 January 2022

“Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Come, let Auntie introduce you to a nice one – use this app.”

“So, when are you getting married, ah? Uncle gave a lot to you already so your turn to give ang baos soon, you know.”

“You look so “prosperous” I was about to congratulate you, leh. So hor, when are you having children, ah?”

Sound familiar? Yes, while house visitations during Chinese New Year are often happy events, there are times when they do become a little bit cringey.

Such as when the usual bout of questions (like the ones above) are asked. By different relatives of a certain vintage. One after another. At every visitation to your home. (You get the drift.)

So, instead of getting too “ang” (red-faced with anger or from embarrassment), lying through your teeth or running off from overly curious family members, try some of the following “adult-tainment”, so as to keep up the cheer and avoid the “FAQ” grilling.

(Having kids over during CNY? Then it will help to load up on some tips to keep your petite guests occupied in our upcoming Part 2 of this series.)

1. Money Talks

Yes, it makes sense to chat about the dollars during LNY, especially since wealth is such a “hot” topic during this period. Not crudely, by comparing pay or who gave more ang baos, but through initiating intelligent and informative conversations about financial stability, security and how to save up better for those rainy days (like the pandemic storm we’re experiencing right now).

Here’s a tasty tip to help you get the exchange going: SNACK. We’re not talking about literally eating those delish CNY goodies nor talking about how yummy they are, but the mobile app that helps build insurance coverage and investments in easy-peasy, nifty ways.

Simply shop with SNACKUP brands (there are lots to choose from) and receive free SNACK coverage with every transaction. Or link any of your daily activities – say, riding the SMRT trains – to the app and purchase bite-sized policies (from just $0.30). Or even invest using the smallest of amounts from your ang bao collection (from $1 and up).

Like actual snacks, there are lots more about SNACK that you and your relatives can get into, and you guys might find it hard to stop (chatting) when you start. SNACK is that worthy life hack that keeps on giving.

Find out more about the SNACK app at www.snackbyincome.sg.

BONUS: SAFRA members enjoy 15% bonus coverage for all products on SNACK.

2. The Goss On Looking Good

Another topic perfect to blather on about during house visits: fashion, beauty and grooming. They may seem like superficial stuff, but chatting about these “vanity subjects” can help keep affairs light-hearted and breezy, and your guests happy.

Make it about them. Compliment their appearance – how special their OOTD is, how bright and cheery they look, or anything that you spot about them outwardly that you think could make their day. Ask them nicely about how they managed to do so or where they got their garb from. Make sure not to judge nor criticise – it’s bad manners.

But, also make it about you. Gab about any of your own experiences or information regarding these topics. Be personable and lifestyle-focused – you can speak about the best gyms or spas to hit, the latest fashion trends to know, or the newest personal care, skin and hair products to try. Remember: It’s not about showing off, but about sharing.

Which also means letting them in on promotions and deals, like the SAFRA ones on Panasonic and Dr. Martens.

For Panasonic, there are a few deals to choose from on the brand’s personal care and health appliances and which are for a “limited time” only, so be quick to get your aunt onto them.

For Dr. Martens, there’s a 10% off on its regular-priced footwear and bags so your young-at-heart uncle can get spiffed up.

In fact, you can get them to do so now before they come a-visiting so everyone can look fab in time for CNY!

Look up SAFRA’s deals on selected Panasonic personal care and health appliances, as well as a 10% off Category Voucher offer, here. And, check out SAFRA’s promotion on Dr. Martens goods.

3. Sing Your Hearts Out

Run out of things to chat at length about? Then just sing.

If you have a home karaoke system at home, then CNY’s the right time to bust it out and use it to the max. Everybody in the house can either get into warbling or just clapping along – just make sure to tune the volume down so your neighbours don’t think you’re running a fly-by-night KTV joint.

4. Lay Some Tiles

Don’t have a karaoke system on hand or can’t sing for nuts? Then just pung it for the win.

By that, we mean play some mahjong. It’s the generations-friendly game that the older folk will love to play and that the younger (at least of teenage age) might appreciate and learn to enjoy.

But, note: Mahjong may be the traditional and apt game to play during the CNY period, but it can be a loud one, what with the clashing and slamming of tiles. So, do keep the noise low so your same said neighbours don’t think you’re running a gambling den on top of a KTV biz.

5. Keep The Food Coming

Food always works for such festive occasions when things grow quiet or uncomfortable.

First, you can keep piling on the yummies. Serve them out on your nicest crockery, top them up constantly, and make sure they are the freshest and best that you have in your CNY larder. A well-fed guest is a satisfied (and distracted) guest.

Second, if the guests are full, then fill them in on the food. Wax lyrical about all of the goodies on the table, the ones that got away (those that you didn’t manage to buy or want to try) and those that your guests might recommend. Nothing bonds a family (and keeps the nagging queries at bay) than lots of food and foodie-talk.