Better Cash & Gift Card Giving

Most of us don’t need more “stuff”, especially around the holidays, and gift cards and cash are always appreciated… but getting money can feel less fun and personal than a present selected just for you wrapped up in pretty paper and a bow.

There are lots of ways to give cash in a way that feels more fun, from dressing up a cash or gift card to make it more exciting and personal or giving cash or gift cards in a way that can directly translate to experience. Experiences always give more happiness than “things”. Here are a few ideas:

  • Give cash that provides an experience, like a gift card to a restaurant you know the recipient has been wanting to try, or movie tickets or gift cards. These types of cash gifts encourage the recipient to have an experience, rather than just doing some online shopping.
  • Another way to give an experience, without requiring the recipient to leave home to have it, is to provide a gift subscription to online courses, or their preferred streaming service for a year.
  • Make gift cards even more personal by packaging them with personal recommendations. Do your friends and family admire your craftiness or cooking? Put together a how-to booklet for a craft along with a gift certificate to a hobby or supply store, or put some of your family favorite recipes in a nice recipe book, along with a gift card to a local grocery store. These types of gifts are relationship building as well as practical!
  • Another way to give cash is to gift something they may already be purchasing, but give it in a way that is more exciting and fun. For example, postage stamps may be a simple staple that no one really thinks about, but you could get a meaningful set of stamps, and package them with some nice stationery (bonus – this may lead to the recipient writing more personal letters – and in today’s world of email and instant messaging, getting a hand-written letter in the post is a thrill, so this gift gives to others as well!)

Whenever possible, get your gift cards locally. The image we chose for this post is an example of using gift cards to a local shop*, dressed up with a practical physical gift. We also included a handwritten note with our favorite drinks from the shop, in case our recipient had never been – this encouraged them to try something new, and kept our shopping local. Around the holidays, many of your local stores and shops will offer these types of gifts already bundled for you.

*Sadly, the shop closed this year