Should You Give Your Kids Cash for Christmas?

Should You Give Your Kids Cash for Christmas?

Christmas is supposed to be one of the most wonderful times of the year. When we celebrate it the way it should be celebrated, it is.

However, many people feel that it is becoming so commercialized it is more about spending money than anything else. Of course, for retail stores it appears to be more about making money.

So how do you give good gifts to your kids for Christmas without going broke? Should you give your kids cash for Christmas instead?

Kids Like Cash

Unless they are very young and have absolutely no understanding of money at all, most kids like cash. There is just something about getting money that lights them up.

I think it is because of all of the possibilities it holds. They can use it right away on something frivolous or save it toward a larger purchase.

You May Spend Less Giving Cash

Rather than spending anywhere from $30 to $50 on each gift, and buying several, you may be able to spend less. For example, give each child a set amount, such as $100 and let them choose how to spend it.

But another reason it may cost you less is in the wrapping. When you give the gift of cash you can enclose it in a card or money holder. Wrapping a gift, however, can cost you more.

Let’s say you get a gift that you just don’t have time to wrap. So, you spend another $3 or $4 dollars for a gift bag and tissue paper. By the time you do that for several gifts it can get rather expensive.

Gifts Cost More to Ship

If you have to ship packages to a friend or loved one for Christmas, you are really going to add to your gift costs, even if you buy an inexpensive gift. Shipping prices have gone up considerably over the last few years and are based on both size and weight. As a result, when you ship presents you could end up spending as much on shipping as you did on the gift.

On the other hand, sending money in a card weighs less and is obviously smaller. You can send it for just the cost of an inexpensive card plus postage to get it there.

Giving Cash Eliminates Waste

Even as an adult I can tell you that there is nothing I hate more than getting a gift I don’t want or can’t use. I know I should be thankful for the gift and have a thankful heart and everything, but it seems like a waste to me.

I don’t like waste. When you don’t know someone well, cash is a never fail way to go when giving a gift to someone.

You Won’t Have to Return it

Have you ever gone into a store shortly after Christmas and tried to return something? It is a very time consuming thing to do, not to mention a downright hassle. The lines are usually long and sometimes if the item went on sale you don’t get your full purchase price back.

When you give your kids cash for Christmas instead, you won’t have to return the gift for something different or a smaller size. It’s a guaranteed win when it comes to satisfaction.

A Cash Gift Saves Time

This may not be the best reason to give your kids cash for Christmas, but it is still a benefit. Therefore, I will add it to the list of reasons you should give your kids cash for Christmas.

Spending valuable time agonizing over the perfect gift may be fine for some people. Not everyone has that kind of time, though. Giving a gift of cash can solve your gift dilemma so you don’t have to worry about whether you got it right or not.

We all know that Christmas is getting more and more commercialized. Although some would argue that if you give your kids cash for Christmas it is impersonal and a cop out, I say it could be the right choice to make.

Do you give your kids cash for Christmas? Why or why not?

Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, of course, writing. She is currently the editor-in-chief of


  1. Well…it’s kinda win win situation. You don’t have to think what to buy and the kid doesn’t have to be disappointed. He will buy exactly what he wants.

  2. Great point! As a kid I loved receiving cash and gift cards. I was able to take advantage of post-holiday sales and buy exactly what I wanted. That meant less pointless crap lying around the house to return. I guess we’ve created a culture where it’s not seen as appropriate to give cash, but I say, “Why not?”

    1. I think as I got older I like getting cash more. When I was younger I think my parents had a better idea of what to buy me. But, when I got older and my interests got more specific, it was easier to make sure I got what I wanted for my hobbies if I bought it myself. 🙂

  3. When I was a kid, I don’t think I would have liked cash from my parents. There’s something magical about opening up real gifts on Christmas morning. I think being handed cash would take something from the experience.

    I do, however, give cash to my nephews. Their parents give them plenty of clothes and toys, so we just put a $10 bill in a nice little gift box and wrap it up for them. They love it!

    It’s a good gift for nieces and nephews, maybe even your own kids (as long as it’s not the only thing you give them). Just don’t forget to give them something to tear open on Christmas morning!

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