The bling versus thing gift giving dilemma

When it comes to gift giving my parents are more of the give cash because then it can be used for something they want camp. As I grew up in that household, for the most part, when gifting I give cash or gift cards. No one hates cash as far as I know, and I don’t have to wrack my head for the perfect gift. But the irony comes in that as much as I give out cash and gift cards, when I get gift cards I hardly ever spend them (note #52 on my 109 in 2009 is to spend a gift card, and its AUGUST and I have yet to do it!) and when I get cash its not like I use it to get my nails did or something fun and giftie. I usually just save it and buy a soda or pay for gas. Yesterday I checked the mail and there was a gift for my upcoming birthday and I got so excited. I wondered would I be this excited if it was cash?

The thing is I love giving gifts and if you’ve been reading long enough you know its a thing I don’t take lightly. I’m getting ready to give a gift to someone near and dear to my heart. I have this great idea for a gift that would be part handmade and part professionally personalized. It would cost a good amount of money (in the $100+ range) when all is said and done. While I feel so excited to give the gift the practical side of me is considering, is the cash equivalent better?

My question is two fold (1) what do you generally prefer receiving? Bling or a thing when it comes to gifts? (2) If you were to give advice on my specific dilemma regarding this friend, what would you advise? Your advice is much appreciated!

12 thoughts on “The bling versus thing gift giving dilemma”

  1. currently, because i am still a student, i prefer cash or gift cards. I'm not going to tell my parents that i need garbage bags, or dish soap, or socks…so at least i can get those mundane but MUCH mroe useful things then some beautiful thought filled item, but which ultimately not be fully appreciated until my necessities are looked after.
    my parents are the same way though, cash/cards because they woul prefer to be practical instead of sentimental.
    Depends on the person you are giving the nice gift too. do they have everything? are they settled and would they be appreciative of an item vs. cash at this point in their lives?


  2. pjf said it all.
    It precisely depends on who you are giving the gift to. You certainly don't want to go on to give someone a home-made, specially customized gift when that person is in a dire need of cash.
    However, I agree, if the above issue doesn't have to be considered, gifts, compared to cash, are a lot more anticipating thing to look to..


  3. PJF, Salman, thanks for the advice. My friend is not strapped for cash. So you raise a good point that in that case its not as tough a decision. I've had good friends also tell me they'd rather get cash even though they're not hurting for money… so hence the dilemma. I can't very well ask the friend, lol. Thanks for your insight and advice.


  4. Salaams sweetie,

    If someone knows me well and is getting something they know I need or would love, then I'd rather get a gift. Nothing tops a thoughtful or handmade gift. They are truly to be treasured. I think your friend will appreciate the effort you made.

    These days so many gifts seem to be hasty or random, as if they didn't even have me in mind or were given out of compulsion rather than desire, knowledge, or joy. In those cases, I'd rather get an Amazon gift card so I can buy ever more books 😉



  5. I think it is lovely getting a personalised gift, particularly if yon know the person very well, and it is obvious that alot of thought and effort went into it.

    Cash is better than hasty pointless presents though! ultimately as everyone above has said, it depends on the person you are giving it to!


  6. I always give checks in ridiculously large amounts… that way the people can be so surprised that they received them… and they'll love you for it… even if the check bounces! Heck they won't even bring it up if it does! If they mention it… just say “Its the thought that counts!”


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