Using Red Envelopes Beyond Chinese New Year

Did you know? Red envelopes are not just a New Year’s thing. While it’s a time when they’re the most popular, red envelopes are also very appropriate gifts for many other formal and informal occasions.

Some events where it’s appropriate to use a red envelope include:

  • Weddings. For couples who choose to receive money in addition to or in lieu of a traditional wedding registry, it’s very appropriate to wish the couple happiness with a cash gift in a red envelope. Red envelopes with cash are an easy gift. At wedding receptions, there will often be a box or basket available for the couple to receive cards and gifts often by a guest book. You can also mail your red envelope directly to the couple, enclosed in another envelope or greeting card.
  • New baby. Some families will celebrate the first 30 days of a child’s life with a Red Egg ceremony. The most common gift for this milestone is cash, typically gifted in a red envelope! Some families also opt to celebrate at 100 days instead of 30. Similar traditions exist in Japanese and Korean cultures.
  • Graduations. Got a recent graduate in your life? Some like to add thoughtfulness to their cash gifts by wishing recent grads with extra luck and fortune in their future endeavours, with a red envelope.
  • New homes. Similarly, cash gifts or gift cards can be an extra special gift by enclosing it in a red envelope to celebrate housewarmings or new first homes for family and friends.
  • Milestone birthdays. Cash gifts given at milestone birthdays are elevated, enclosed in a red envelope.
  • Bonuses and tips. Not just for celebrations, red envelopes are also used by employers to employees for cash bonuses or tips, as an added touch to wish good fortunes in the workplace or in a community. Gifting a cash bonus in a red envelope is a thoughtful way to show gratitude for employees and staff in the workplace, where you live (apartment building staff, delivery people), or others who provide services to you regularly, like babysitters, lawn mowers, dry cleaners, hair stylists or cleaning services.

At Gathered Gifts, we will even slip gift cards into red envelopes when we’re gifting, as a thoughtful way to “wrap” a gift card. It’s a fun and creative way to give a little something extra.

Top image: Plenty of Goodness Red Envelope

Bottom image (left to right): Good Fortune Red Envelope, Vintage Mod Red Envelope, Proud Peonies Red Envelope

Have you given or received red envelopes for any other occasions?

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