Cash seems to be the perfect gift during the holidays for tight-pocketed college students. It removes the stress of finding the perfect present and you know the receiver will be able to buy something they really need or like with it.
But is money too unimaginative or too impersonal to give as a gift? Do you remember the gift after the cash is spent? And what if you cause an uncomfortable situation by giving too little or too much?
K-State students seem to have mixed views.
“I would rather receive a gift, because the sentimental value that is associated with a gift from a loved one always outweighs cash,” Morgan Wills, senior in political science, said. “Although I am always extremely grateful for anyone who gives me – a little ol’ college student – cash, I just love looking back at old gifts and remembering all the memories I have with the person I received it from. When I think of the excitement and joy that comes from tearing off wrapping paper, it’s not even a question; a tangible gift would win every time.”
For Chelsea Moore, sophomore in microbiology and Spanish, her gift-receiving preferences change from person to person. Sometimes, if the gift-giver is not very good at buying things, she’d rather have the option of using the money to pick something out for herself.
“I think it all just really depends on the situation,” Moore said. “For example, my dad isn’t very good at gift giving, so I would rather get money. He just comes up with the most random things to give and I would probably find it more beneficial to just receive money to spend on an item that I know I will use.”
Some students said they would like a thought-out gift, regardless of the circumstances.
“I would definitely rather receive a gift versus money from a friend,” Kelly Kristiansen, junior in education, said. “It shows that they really put thought into it. I feel like money is just a gift you give when you don’t want to try super hard.”
If you do decide you just want cash for the holidays, there is a good way to go about asking for it.
According to advice website HowStuffWorks.com, telling the gift-givers exactly what you will use the money for is often times a good idea. Perhaps you are saving up for a trip or a big-ticket item. If you let the gift giver know what the cash will be put toward, it might make them feel as if they are giving a gift that is more personal. You could also try to pull the poor college student card.
Maybe you hate the holiday trinkets accumulating dust on your bookshelf or perhaps you find them a valuable reminder of memories with those people closest to you. Just keep in mind that each person has a different idea of the “perfect gift,” so it might be worth asking them what they want.