Gifting Etiquette, Uncategorized
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Giving money for Christmas: When and how to do it right

I do a similar post every Christmas, as this question keeps coming up in conversations I have with my friends and readers. First of all, let me demystify something: it’s perfectly normal to have people in your life you simply struggle to select a gift for. So don’t panic 🙂

With the rise of individual wish lists on websites like Amazon and Pinterest, it’s no wonder that many of us would actually prefer to get cash and spend it on something we truly want, instead of receiving an item we would bury at the bottom of our storage cupboard (or for more entrepreneurial spirits out there – sell of on Ebay).

Even Martha Stewart agrees in an interview on Bloomberg (the full article is here) that it’s better to give cash than a bad gift.

Here is my very quick guide to giving cash for Christmas:

Wife/ Girlfriend – Not a good idea. She’ll be upset that you didn’t listen to her hints about “those shoes I showed you on my iPad a few weeks back”. So if you really can’t think of anything better than money to give her, maybe you just don’t have that much in common… But that’s not my area of expertise 🙂

Husband/ Boyfriend – See above, not much of a difference. But he’ll be less vocal about it.

Mum/Dad and grandparents – Yes, but only if you give them something sentimental, as well.  You need to show that you truly value them, so money alone won’t be enough. For them, the thought counts more than a price tag.

Kids and teenagers – Yes, totally fine, but don’t patronise and let them spend it however they please. If it’s decent chunk of money, it will be their first adult experience of spending real cash on something substantial, so even if they get it wrong in your opinion, keep it to yourself 🙂

Brothers and sisters – Yes, especially if you are close (a good trick is to add a note that it’s your input into their fund for larger purchases like a car or a holiday); more distant relatives might feel offended.

Close friends – Yes, similarly to close siblings.

Colleagues – No, you share the same employer, so it’s a bit of a creepy money exchange. The only good way of doing it is donating money to their favourite charity.

Do you agree or disagree? Share you stories with me here or tweet me!

Stay tuned and Merry Christmas,

Ilona x


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