Creative Ways to Give Cash for the Holidays

by Tim Wagner

If you want to give somebody cash for Christmas this year try out these cool presentations for that cold hard cash gift. 

Dollar Trees

A lot of offices do “giving trees” so that employees can contribute money for a holiday charity. You can take that idea and run with it. Fold your dollars into the shapes of ornaments and hang them from the branches. Or, fold all of the various notes to hide the denominations – that gives the recipient the thrill of searching for the biggest bill! And, be sure to use a real live tree that they can use to decorate their house or yard – some citrus trees will even have fruit when you buy them at the nursery. There, you also gave a ‘real’ gift along with your cash!

Treasure Hunt

You can create a treasure hunt for your cash-receiving friend several different ways. You can go with a tried-and-true treasure map, drawn out with instructions, booby traps, and an X to mark the spot of the cash booty. Or, you can create a set of clues, with each successive one leading to another clue, until finally the treasure hunter finds the cash stash. Finally, you can do a variation of the clue set where each clue also has some cash with it, leading up to the last clue and the biggest bill with it.

Redefine Cold, Hard Cash

Freeze a $100 bill in a block of ice. This is definitely an ornery idea, so use it for anybody fond of playing practical jokes on you. It’s simple to do, but takes a few steps. Get a plastic storage container larger than a standard bill. Fill it halfway with water and freeze it. Then, place the bill on top of the ice and fill a little more water on top before placing back in the freezer. That should hold the bill in place once frozen, then you can add more water and freeze so that the bill is halfway from top to bottom in the ice. Don’t worry about damaging the bill – U.S. currency is actually made of linen and cotton fibers. It will get soaked, but it won’t turn to mush like typical paper made of wood. You’ll just annoy your recipient when he or she can’t spend it until it thaws and dries!

Something Colder and Harder than Cash 

So, you just can’t get over the idea of giving greenbacks for a gift? Why don’t you turn some cash into gold or silver, instead? You can buy a 1 oz. silver round (a coin that isn’t official U.S. currency) for about $16 at the time of this writing. You can also buy silver in 1 oz., 5 oz., and 10 oz. bars, commonly, depending on how much you want to give. Gold prices are considerably higher – around $1,100 per oz. right now. However, you can buy gold in ¼ oz. rounds and even as small as ½ of a gram – about $30 for one of those right now.  A handful of precious metal would make a really cool gift for just about anyone. Talk about treasure!

Fill a Wallet

Where is your gift recipient going to put all that cash you give? Make the decision easy and give it to them pre-stored in a new wallet! Give the guys a sleek, front pocket wallet that won’t cause a sitting hazard and also protect credit cards from being hijacked with an RFID-blocking lining. Some of these wallets are also cut to nestle right into the curve of a man’s front pocket. For women, the trend is … forgoing a wallet altogether. So, what can you do? Stuff that cash (or a preloaded debit card) into a combo cell phone case-wallet. She’ll be able to grab her phone, ID, and cash in one convenient case before hitting the town to spend your gift!

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