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Clever Ways to Give Money for Christmas


It’s Christmas time, the season of giving! While nothing makes me happier than giving a loved one something special, I have to admit, I don’t like Christmas shopping. Whether in person at the mall or online, I always find myself scrambling to find meaningful gifts at the last minute.

Gift-giving is fun when you’ve found the perfect present for someone, but it’s definitely stressful when you are just trying to cross names off of your shopping list.

This Christmas you’ll be in good company if you decide to skip the mall in search of store-bought presents. Consider the following clever ways to give money instead.

origami is a clever way to give money

DIY Cash and Card Holders for Christmas Giving


When you’re giving cash as a Christmas gift, you have tons of unique and creative ways to wrap it. Here are some of my favorite Christmas gift card holder ideas. 

DIY Glitter Gift Card Holder

Add some glitter to your Christmas gifts with these DIY gift cards and money holders. Rather than sticking some money in a generic store-bought Christmas card, these DIY cardholders add more of a personal touch. 

Origami Envelopes

Whether you are already into origami or are completely new to the idea, you can find folding instructions for origami envelopes for all skill levels. Origami envelopes are an interesting and visually stunning way to give money. 

Slimline Money Holder

A slimline money holder is a long and narrow-shaped money holder that fits into a standard business envelope. It’s called a slimline holder because the design is longer and narrower than a regular-size card or money holder that you would find in a store. It’s a nice change from a regular money holder and is the perfect size for carrying bills. Here’s how to make a DIY slimline money holder.

DIY Gift Money Holder 

For you crafters or scrapbookers who have lots of designer paper on hand, these DIY gift money holders are for you. These festive money holders are easy to make and can even be hung from the Christmas tree like an ornament until you are ready to give them. 

Fun Ways to Give Cash or Gift Cards to Kids for Christmas

There are plenty of fun ways to give kids cash for Christmas.

  • Bonus: If your kids receive cash as a present for Christmas, this is a great opportunity to introduce financial literacy concepts like saving, spending, and giving. 

Cash Crayons

For kids who love to draw and color, give “cash crayons.” Buy a box of crayons and wrap each crayon with a dollar bill. You can also add a coloring book for young kids or an adult coloring book for teens.

Play Dough 

Empty out a Play-Doh container and fill it with dollar bills. This fun play on words will likely be lost on young kids, but a tween might get the joke!

Money Tree

A Christmas money tree is another fun and unique way to give a money gift at Christmas. You can decide how big you want your tree to be based on how much money you want to give and the denomination of bills you want to give. 

Snowman Treat Jars

In the past, I’ve used these snowman treat jars as a fun way to gift baked goods and candies. However, you could also fill a festive snowman mason jar with money. 

Chocolate Box

Remove (or eat) all the chocolates in a box and fill the wrappers with folded money. Your kiddo might not be thrilled when they unwrap a box of chocolates but they will likely be excited when they open the box and find cash.

Is It Tacky to Give Money for Christmas Instead of Gifts?

There are mixed feelings when it comes to giving money instead of more traditional gifts, especially at Christmas time. Some think a money gift is too impersonal. Others deem it as flat-out tacky.

But, let’s be honest — who doesn’t love getting money?

Money gives you the freedom to buy exactly what you want. Or, the receiver can use the money in a more practical way — like to pay for groceries or bills. In addition to these benefits, there are several other pros of giving money during the holiday season … 

Pros of Giving Money for Christmas

  1. Convenient. You don’t have to spend any time or energy thinking about what each person on your Christmas list really wants. Just make a quick stop at the bank and you’re good to go. I’ve found a cash gift is especially convenient when it comes to those last-minute gifts.
  2. Practical. As I already mentioned, when you give money as a gift, you give the receiver the freedom to do what they like with the money. Instead of guessing what someone wants and then having them return it, you give them money to spend on whatever they choose. 
  3. Cheap and easy to mail. If you have to mail Christmas gifts to family and friends living a long distance away, it’s much cheaper to mail a card with money inside than it is to ship a heavy or bulky package. 
  4. Eliminates waste. How many last-minute gifts end up in the back of a closet, or worse, in the garbage? Rather than adding to the mountains of waste, a cash gift can be a better choice. 
  5. Easier to budget. When you gift money, you get to choose exactly how much you want to spend. This can make it easier to stick to your Christmas budget.

How Do You Feel About Giving Money for Christmas? 

In case you can’t tell, I think giving money at Christmas can be a truly thoughtful gift. When you give someone cash, what you’re really giving them is the ability to choose exactly how they want to spend it. And, for you, it means no driving around to shop in bad weather, no standing in long lines, no stressing about what to get, and no going over budget! That’s a win-win Christmas present in my book. 

— By Jessica Martel


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