A Western Union survey proves that perhaps the American public is taking the message of Consumerist’s anti-gift card to heart. Instead of tangible gifts or gift cards, more Americans are reportedly giving each other the gift of versatile, useful cash.
According to the survey, 44 percent of consumers say that they plan to give someone in their lives cash as a gift this holiday season.
Americans used to consider giving cold, hard cash at Christmas too and impersonal. But the sheer need for liquidity during tough economic times – and people’s recognition that they ought to be better prepared in the future – has helped remove the stigma.
“People are asking for more cash. Consumers are saying they have other priorities,’’ said NPD Group’s chief retail analyst, Marshal Cohen, who is projecting a boost in cash as gifts this holiday season. “They would love the gift, but they need to pay off their grocery bill before they start worrying about a Polo shirt.’’
People are also opening savings accounts and CDs on behalf of their loved ones. Giving the gift of saving rather than spending? How refreshing!
Cold cash gains new warmth as holiday gift in hard times [Boston Globe]