Over at Wise Bread blogger Xin Lu has posted her thoughts on cash verses gifts or gift cards:
Cash gifts are the best – On every new year or birthday, Chinese children usually get cash gifts that they end up saving. This sounds pretty sad, but I remember being quite excited about visiting all the relatives and receiving red envelopes with cash in them. Red envelopes are the standard gift for any celebration, and they are considered the best gifts because the recipient can do anything with the money. In America it seems that cash is a less common gift because it is considered to be less thoughtful. Instead, cash is converted to gift cards or useless trinkets that are probably less appreciated by the recipient.
We really have to agree with this. Gifts can be very thoughtful, but in some cases gift cards are capitalizing on people who feel insecure about giving cash.
Cash is a thoughtful gift! Bring on the red envelopes. I think people should start giving each other rolls of quarters. You can do your laundry or punch an attacker. Your choice.
Chinese Money Habits – How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money [Wise Bread]