We all want the title “master gift giver”. But we also don’t want to spend weeks online and in stores shopping around for that perfect present year after year. That’s why most of us turn to cash and Visa gift cards.
But if we’re being honest with ourselves, who really gets excited when you hand them a $20 bill or plastic card? Not too many people. Cash and gift cards are notorious for being thoughtless gifts. But they don’t have to be. Let your gift recipient know you’ve put some thought into it by following these four gift-giving tips.
1. Tie it to something they’re saving for.
Along with giving cash, write a note encouraging them to keep saving for that car, house, new laptop, backpacking trip across Europe or whatever they’re saving for. You could also put the money inside a piggy bank with a sign saying what it’s for or turn a mason jar into their “stache” jar.
2. Use the right packaging.
Do you feel lame handing people a boring box or small white envelope that’s obviously holding a gift card? We feel you. Those aren’t pretty to look at, and there’s no element of surprise.
Thoughtful gifters think about the presentation of giving gifts. Here are some creative packaging ideas:
- Decorate a gift bag or box using colors, prints and pictures the receiver likes or that have to do with the occasion when the gift is being given.
- Give faux chocolates where you individually fill the wrappers inside an empty chocolate box with coins and folded cash.
- Hide the gift card or money inside a jar of their favorite candy.
- Freeze cash or a gift card, and then put it inside a container with a note that says, “Cold hard cash”.
- Turn an old tissue box into a money box. Make a funny sign that says, “Don’t blow it all at one place!”
- Use an old map to wrap the gift card or cash in, and write “Adventure Awaits” on the gift tag. This is a fun packaging idea for someone who loves traveling.
3. Take time to write an accompanying message.
Write a note telling them why you got them this gift card. Let them know you remember them saying they’ve been wanting to try this new restaurant or you know a big sale is coming up at their favorite store so you wanted them to be ready to buy whatever they wanted. They’ll appreciate the note. They’ll appreciate you listening and remembering what they said. It will show them the gift card wasn’t a last-minute gift, but that you really put some thought into it.
4. Be thoughtful in your total approach.
What it all boils down to is putting thought into every aspect of gifting, from the type of gift card or amount of money to how you’ll give it, when you’ll give it and where you’ll give it. Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” So do just that. Give what you can and just put a lot of thought and love into giving it.