Awesome Etiquette: In Lieu Of Holiday Gifts, Is It Okay To Ask For Cash?

Nov 25, 2015

When you are having cash-flow problems, is it wrong to ask for money for the holidays instead of gifts? 

I appreciate my family and in-laws willingness to spend money on me and I am grateful for their kindness. However, I have recently had some financial trouble. I need to purchase a new computer and a new car. Is there a way I can tell my family this and ask for cash instead of gifts? It feels wrong to ask for cash for Christmas but I feel like I'll end up returning any gifts I get and don't want to be dishonest.

Thank you,

Empty pockets

The answer:

To start, it is important for you to have the conversation with your parents. I would not extend this conversation to cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. 

Birthdays and holidays are an opportunity for family members to give you something that, in your day-to-day life, you may not be able to purchase.

If a loved one is looking for a gift idea that would truly help you, then be honest about what you need this year — cash. 

It feels wrong to ask for cash for Christmas, but I feel like I'll end up returning any gifts I get and don't want to be dishonest.

It sounds like you have a great family, "Empty Pockets." I encourage you to continue as you have, accepting the gifts that do come your way with generosity of spirit.