Cash is one of the few gifts people feel guilty for giving, although everyone enjoys receiving it. I've never thought, "Gee, I wish I didn't have this free money," so it's not an issue I can personally relate to, but apparently people think gifting cash seems impersonal. I guess it does lack the pizzazz of a pretty package, but it's so difficult to find a gift that's fun, practical, and very unlikely to end up sitting in the "returns" bin behind a customer service counter somewhere.
So clear your gift-giving conscience by getting creative with cash, and present a present that's both exciting to give and get:
There are a ton of cool ideas on the internet for money origami, but this one is perfect for a graduate or to help fund a vacation or honeymoon. Fold a few bills into shirt shapes and slip them into a miniature suitcase or travel trunk for a fun farewell gift. "Where the heck am I going to get a miniature suitcase or travel trunk?" you might be wondering. You could probably make one, but let's face it, if you were up for all that, you probably wouldn't be giving money in the first place. Craft stores and hobby shops are worth a look, and internet searches for "suitcase party favor" turns up several possibilities, including printable options for my fellow procrastinators, like the one pictured above.
All you need for this easy idea is an empty pizza box and a clean piece of the round cardboard that cake or pizza usually sits on. Get Glue Dots from your local craft store (a gummy, removable adhesive product) and paper the round cardboard with dollar bills and coins. To get a professional-looking edge, buy one of those shrink wrap basket bags to slip the pie into and blow-dry the edges smooth. Put your finished product in the empty pizza box and include a card that features a dough-related pun of your choice. Make it extra cheesy. See what I did there?
They say money doesn't grow on trees, but what if for once in your life it could? Unbridle your imagination and make a money tree using a flowerpot, florist foam and decorative sticks or small branches. Fold dollar bills into an accordion-style fan or leaf shape, and secure them to the branches with wire ties to make someone's wish come true. You could also create a bouquet out of gift cards using a similar concept, which is an idea that is easy to personalize.
This one's perfect for kids or kids-at-heart. Connect individual dollar bills to each other end-to-end using tape, then roll the streamer of money up carefully and attach a piece of paper or ribbon that says "pull" to the end. Place the roll of bills inside of a foil-wrapped tissue box, threading the "pull" tab through the top and get ready to watch the fun unravel!
As Forrest Gump famously said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." Wouldn't it be awesome if you got money, though? Buy a box of assorted chocolates, remove half (I won't tell anyone if you eat them, because that is what I would do), and replace them with folded bills of different denominations. If you're nice, you'll replace all of the coconut cream-flavoured ones, because no one likes those anyway.
Let's face it, any of the above is better than an ill-fitting sweater. If it's the thought that counts, the gifts above definitely count! I don't blame you if you decide to just slip some cash into a card (especially if I'm the recipient), but it is possible to make giving money as a gift a personal and memorable affair. Like most good things in life, gifting currency creatively just takes a little time, effort, and, of course, cash.
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