Best Advice of the Week: A Gift for the Giver

Cash and gift certificates are such popular gifts these days.  They are certainly my default if I don’t know something specific the person wants.  I always kid that money is always the right size and right color!

When we, and Hubby’s siblings, were all young marrieds who had to watch our pennies, Hubby’s parents began giving each couple a check for Christmas.  They still gave our children gifts.

What a God-send those checks were.  They allowed us to make purchases that just didn’t fit into our budgets.  Which brings me to the point of this post.

When Hubby’s father died unexpectedly in January, 1985, laying on his kitchen table was the thank you note I had written him for the Christmas check and telling him that we had used it to buy a new mattress and springs.  I cannot tell you how pleased I was that he had known before he died, that we had not only appreciated the money but how we had used it.

When Gunny was a young Marine and DD was a college student, neither of them had alot of money.  So, on my birthday one year they pooled their resources and gave me a gift certificate to my favorite department store.  When I went to use it, lo and behold there was a jewelry sale!  So I bought a pair of gold earrings that at normal price would have been way more than I would have spent, but because of the sale, my gift certificate covered them.  I told them both what I had used the gift certificate for and they were pleased (and I think a little surprised) that I had been able to get something very nice with their gift.  When I wear those earrings I always remember this story.

I received a phone call last week from our oldest granddaughter, Sam.  We had sent her a card and a check for her birthday.  She not only said thanks for the money but said that she had used it to buy mulch for the flower beds she has planted in front of her house.  Later when I saw pictures of her really lovely flower beds on her Facebook page, it felt so good to know that the finishing touch, the mulch, had been our birthday gift to her.

So my experience has been that when you receive a gift of money, besides your thanks, you can give the giver a gift in return — the pleasure of knowing how their gift was used.

4 Responses to Best Advice of the Week: A Gift for the Giver

  1. Hilary says:

    You’re so right about that. I’ve always felt a little funny about giving cash or gift certificates as gifts. It feels impersonal to me. It’s my last resort when I have exhausted every other option. My kids used to get cheques from relatives for birthdays and other occasions and we always made a point of including news of their purchase (or intended purchase) in their thank you notes. Just as my mother had us do as kids. It gives the gift much more value than mere dollars.

  2. Linda says:

    Great advice, Sandra!

  3. Sandra says:

    Well, Hilary, my mom always felt like money wasn’t a good gift, but when she got too old to shop, she changed her mind! And it does make it feel much more appropriate if you find out that it’s been used for a specific purpose. I’ve even had thank you notes from newlyweds that said what our cash gift was going to be used for — I really like that. 🙂

    Linda — Thanks. 🙂

  4. […] Best Advice of the Week: A Gift for the Giver « Add Humor and … When Hubby's father died unexpectedly in January, 1985, laying on his kitchen table was the thank you note I had written him for the Christmas check and telling him that we had used it to buy a new mattress and springs. […]

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