We do all of the above, and presents too, and we think there are good and thoughtful reasons to give cash or a gift card. Sure, sometimes they’re the equivalent of bath salts, but sometimes they really are the best present.
We gave cash to:
Brother and sister-in-law #1 because they just had an offer accepted on a house… and we know how unexpected expenses tend to crop up when you buy a house, especially those first couple of months. If they don’t need it for an unexpected expense, they can use it for tchotchkes.
Relative with the passel of kids who is bad with money. Every year we say we’re not going to, and then every year we end up doing it anyway. This year it was the burst appendix of kid #4 that was the straw that made me write a check. DH almost suggested purchasing a chastity belt with it in the enclosed card (very funny story there… assuming it wasn’t *your* daughter as female lead), but thought better of it.
We gave gift cards to:
Father-in-law because his favorite activity in the world is shopping for his hobby. And my mother-in-law prefers he not spend all their money on that.
Brother-in-law #2 because we asked his wife what to get him and she said that his favorite gift ever was an Amazon gift certificate. That’s easy.
My mother because there is nothing she likes more than shopping at our bookstore when she comes to visit. It’s what she asks for. It keeps her happy in our boring small town.
Grandmother-in-law #1 because she’s on a small fixed income and she likes to buy things for people and is sad when she can’t afford to. A giftcard to Walmart helps her do that, or just get things for herself.
DC’s teachers because cash would be weird and we understand teachers like gift cards.
We gave presents to:
SIL #2 got a cookbook to go with her new crockpot and a subscription to audible. MIL got a professional book she’s been wanting and another thing. The little cousins got various books and toys. My sister got ballet tickets and backstage passes to enjoy with DC. My father got a bottle of fancy rum. Grandmother-in-law #2 we already talked about (MIL says she got her copy last week.) The other half of the blog is getting an assortment of goodies from her Amazon wishlist… some things she really wanted and some I selfishly think she should have.
What kinds of things are you getting for folks? Are you avoiding any of the above categories in your giving or receiving?