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At Christmas Why Not Just Give Cash ?

in Christmas

This Christmas season, there will be countless Millions of dollars given to folks in various forms of non-currency (i.e. Gift Cards, Gift Certificates, Coupons, etc.,) and it just makes me wonder, what ever happened to good old-fashioned cash as a present?

I can hear my wife’s brain exploding on this one, but I am not talking about giving your 5-year-old a roll of $20 bills or your wife 5 crisp $100 bills as their Christmas present (unless of course they want that, but I digress), but how many folks who are secondary or even farther out acquaintances that you simply go out and buy them a gift card to Best Buy or the Keg or the like? Why is it OK to force these folks to go somewhere you think they might want to go, when CA$H let’s them do whatever the heck they want?

Why are you forcing your newspaper delivery person to go to Swiss Chalet for a $20 meal, when a crisp $20 bill says the same thing and is so much more flexible? They could buy some stamps, some gas, and maybe some cheese and still have change left? Who knows what they value, so why are you forcing folks to go by “something” where you think they should shop?

Canadian currency is a beautiful thing and the new plastic $100 bills are really swish (in my opinion), it’s like you are giving them art they can then buy whatever they want!

The vertical $10 bank note – stacks / Le billet vertical de 10 $ – liasses
Very Pretty Money

Let’s get back to Giving CA$H for Chri$tmas this year! Help stamp out the gift card and replace it with a Friendly $20 Bill! Let’s make Ca$h King again! When did cash become dirty (OK, I draw dirty mustaches on the Queen sometimes, but again I digress), you are giving cash with a gift card, so why not just give the cash?!?

Ca$h, the gift that keeps giving!

{ 9 comments }

  • Gerard June 12, 2012, 8:42 PM

    I took the point of the column to be that we should give cash instead of gift cards that coerce the recipient into spending money at a particular place (some posters seem to have a different take). That makes good sense to me, especially in non-reciprocal situations (newspaper delivery person, etc.). Maybe your newspaper deliverer would rather pay down their debts than pick up some crap from Best Buy. Or buy food, maybe.

    Reply
  • Shaun Somers December 29, 2011, 3:55 AM

    I like receiving gift cards because I don’t feel any guilt or pressure about spending them. There’s nothing I NEED at Best Buy right now, but if you gave me a gift card for there I’d be happy and could find something I’d like there.
    If you gave me $50 cash I could of course do the exact same thing, only to anywhere I want. With the cash, however, I might stick it in my wallet and end up spending it on groceries or gasoline if I don’t get to the store with cool stuff soon enough. If you give me an online Amazon gift card I can be buying and reading books in minutes. They haven’t yet put a slot on my Kindle to accept $20 bills 🙂
    That’s why I like gift cards. I suppose I give gift cards because I like getting them.

    Reply
  • Justin December 24, 2011, 2:19 PM

    The reason for not giving cash at Christmas is because the gift giving is usually reciprocal. If I give you cash, and you give me cash, what is the point of exchanging gifts at all?

    That being said, cash is great when the gift is not being reciprocated (birthday, wedding)

    Reply
  • nadine zeldovich December 24, 2011, 6:38 AM

    Everyone seems to have been taught that giving cash means you don’t care. I’ve always thought if you didn’t care, you’d keep it. My in-laws wouldn’t give cash, but left the price tags on gifts so you could see how much they spent. That was important to them. One of my friends is in a family where they only gives cash. She says gift giving is over in about 10 minutes and wonders if she went last, could she re-wrap the $100 she got from her brother and give it back to him, since that is exactly what she’s giving him anyway? Sounds like the ultimate commercial Xmas to me…

    Reply
  • Potato December 23, 2011, 2:05 AM

    I call it “the universal gift card.”

    Reply
  • 101 Centavos December 22, 2011, 5:42 PM

    I once a favorite aunt who liked to give cash as presents. That’s why she was my favorite aunt.

    Reply
  • Ach Tu Libre December 21, 2011, 2:47 AM

    I think a main reasons as for why people give gifts rather than cash is because it looks like you made an effort. While yes, cash may be preferred, it looks as if there is no thought behind

    Reply
  • My Own Advisor December 20, 2011, 8:18 PM

    I’m gonna have to agree with Canada Finance here. Cash is easy. I like giving it now and again, but gifts take some effort. Gifts take thought.

    Doesn’t mean the effort always makes sense, is appreciated or welcomed. Just speaking from experience of course 😉

    Reply
  • Canada Finance December 20, 2011, 12:34 AM

    I think a main reasons as for why people give gifts rather than cash is because it looks like you made an effort. While yes, cash may be preferred, it looks as if there is no thought behind it. The old saying goes “It’s the thought that counts”, and without thought, then the gift is really worthless. On the other hand, a smart move would be to buy a gift for less and save the additional money. This way your giving a thought and creating a savings.

    Reply

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