Cash is a notoriously thoughtless gift, but it doesn't have to be. If you tie the gift to something that's actually meaningful, it's a lot more thoughtful than just handing someone cash.
Photo by Linnaea Mallette
Lizzie Post, co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast, put it this way:
You want to really think about why you're choosing to give money and whether the other person is going to be receptive of it. You want it to come across as 'I know this what you really wanted because I know you're saving for something.' It's important to recognise that so it doesn't come across as 'oh here's cash' and that you didn't put any thought into the gift.
There are ways to make it even more personal. When I went on a trip to Mexico, for example, a friend of mine wanted to gift me with a snorkelling session, but she couldn't find gift cards. Instead, she printed out some reviews and wrote a note about why she thought I'd enjoy it, then gave me just enough cash to cover the session. It was a great gift! If your recipient is saving for something, you could make it personal by stashing the money in a cheap piggy bank or just writing an encouraging note to motivate them to stick to their goal. The point is, cash does seem impersonal, but there are ways to make it thoughtful.
How to Give Money as a Holiday Gift [Credit.com]