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When Teens Ask for Gifts of Cash


Cash as agift

If you have a teen in your life, you know what I’m talking about. So many teens say cash is all they want, and so many of us balk at the idea of just giving them cash for their holiday gift. It feels impersonal or thoughtless. Some of you might like shopping and are sad to not be able to do that for them. There are two ways you can take this: drill down the request, or go ahead and give cash with a personal touch. By drilling it down, you might find out why they want cash. Let’s not assume it is because they don’t like our taste in gifts. At the same time, let’s be real—we might not be able to identify what they would like.

For example, if they want to buy clothes, you can give a gift card for one of their favorite stores. If you live close by and want to keep options open, create a promissory note, like a gift card, but from you, to take them shopping with a budget of, or contribution of $X. This is also a gift of your time. This is especially true if you’re not the one who usually takes them shopping when they outgrow their clothes. That might even be a gift that gives twice—the parent who usually shops might love that, too!

Perhaps what they want is not a thing at all. Maybe they just want to be able to go to the movies with their friends. Or eat out. There might be a gift card in those options somewhere.

It might be that they are saving up for a bigger ticket item and find it frustrating that all this money is spent on them for stuff they don’t really want or need, rather than going towards this goal. That is a totally respectable reason, don’t you think? Let’s say it’s to save up for a car. You could buy or find a toy car, roll up money or a check and put it inside, and wrap that up in a box. Or look up “savings tracker” on Etsy to find printable charts.

Be fun, creative and make them feel as though you are cheering them on.

The Done-by-Thanksgiving challenge:

Want to get organized and motivated for early holiday shopping? Keep following along with this blog and join the challenge. Subscribe to get notified about posts along with additional tips and deals. Keep EcoPetites in mind for the short women on your list, or to buy holiday-ready outfits for yourself. If you spend at least $50 at EcoPetites by the weekend before Thanksgiving, post about it on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, I’ll send you an e-gift card for $25 on November 24th. Just use the hashtag #donebyNov21 so I see you. Everything here is made in the USA of sustainable fabrics and all petite sizing.