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10 Classy Ways to Give Money as a Christmas Gift

Updated on July 7, 2015
Chris Telden profile image

For Chris, choosing gifts is like writing a story: By matching the character to the gift, you learn more about people and what they value.

Give a cash gift for Christmas to someone who needs it while still keeping to the spirit of the holidays.
Give a cash gift for Christmas to someone who needs it while still keeping to the spirit of the holidays.

Let's just say it: we're in a recession. Cash is the perfect Christmas gift in difficult economic times, when holidays can be a strain on everyone's already overstrapped finances. Cash comes with no strings attached and can be used for anything essential at any time during or after the holidays.

Unfortunately, money can seem a boring or an impersonal gift. Being the recipient of Christmas cash can make a person embarrassed. And your gift recipient is often left with no reminder of the gift after the cash is gone. Overall, the etiquette of giving money as a gift can be a sensitive issue.

Here are cash giving ideas that help your monetary Christmas gift remain memorable and classy while doing the most good for the recipient.

Ways to Give Cash for Christmas

  1. Give a small, thoughtful, gift, such as a simple ornament or personalized mug, with supplemental cash included with the greeting card - as if the cash is an afterthought to the main gift. Your recipient will keep the small gift as a memento and still be able to use the cash.
  2. Give cash in a fancy Christmas card that you either make yourself, get custom-made, or is simply too beautiful to discard. The gift recipient will keep the card and always remember your gift. And giving an ornate card keeps the gift classy and respectful.
  3. Give cash in a holiday gift bag along with festive tissue paper, ribbons, candy canes and other Christmas treats.
  4. If the person is one of your regular customers that you'd like to help out, give them a coupon for a free service or product. And stick the coupon in a Christmas card to satisfy the etiquette sticklers.
  5. A favorite method of cash gifting is to give a batch of Christmas cookies and a humorous Christmas card and then to stick in a gift certificate or gift card to a useful store that your recipient would normally shop at, such as a grocery store, Target, WalMart, a warehouse club, kids' clothing store, pet store, dry cleaner's, or gas station. This is a discreet way of gifting cash.
  6. If the person is an employee or business associate, and it's all legal and above-board to do so, give them a gift card with your next payment along with a small, personalized gift. Keep in mind the "above-board." If you're in doubt, then check with Human Resources, or ask yourself this question: Would it feel awkward if everybody in the office knew what the gift is? If the answer is yes, better not.
  7. Give a custom-made gift basket filled with an assortment of small food gifts that you know the recipient likes...and cash.
  8. Fill a Christmas stocking with pretty Christmas ornaments and a small billfold. Your gift recipient will likely re-use the stocking and ornaments and so remember your gift of cash.
  9. A cute idea: Wrap up nine small Christmas presents and label each one with a letter, spelling out CHRISTMAS....with money slipped in under the "M" gift. For example, give: Chocolate, Holly, Raisins, Icicles, Santa, Tea, Money, Angel, Snowman.
  10. For some "tacky" Christmas humor, make a small "cash" Christmas tree. Loosely tape bills of paper money to a mini plastic Christmas tree until it's layered with cash. If you're sure the recipient has a sense of humor as big as your heart, you can even put an angel on top with your face stuck on it. Of course, this cash giving idea only works for people with a wacky sense of humor. Don't use it on somebody who's seriously embarrassed to get cash for the holidays.


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