Give the gift of … November 18 2009, 0 Comments

Who out there has started their holiday shopping? You, you and you? I hate you. Sorry. But I mean it.

As you may remember, my day gig is with Emily Post.  In our office, the holiday season is a wild tempest of media interviews, all on the topics that surround holiday etiquette. Holiday tippinggifts at the office,holiday parties, she gave me a gift do I have to get her one, I hate the gift my mother-in-law gave me can I return it, should I get my boss a gift, etc, etc, etc. Between now and Dec. 31, we’ll do close to 300 interviews. It’s crazyness.

What’s in this for you? Well, one of the more popular debates this time of year is this: is it OK to give cash as a gift or is it tacky? If you’ll be giving any gifts to horse people in your life, this is something to consider. I’m betting that you’re planning on giving a gift to at least one barn worker, your kid’s trainer, the barn manager and maybe even the vet and farrier. (Hey, why don’t you take the poll, so I don’t have to guess? Thanks!) And what are you going to give these folks? If you’re super strapped for cash you can always bake something or make something. This is a perfectly acceptable option.

Cash for Christmas

Cash for Christmas

But most of these folks would be psyched to receive cash rather than a gift of comparable value.  And, it’s perfectly acceptable to give cash as a gift. Really. Ditto for gift cards. I just read aninteresting article in the December issue of Money magazine which postulates that giving cash is better for the economy than buying gifts that people may or may not truly enjoy.

How you deliver it matters. Put it in a nice card that includes a handwritten note. Something like this:

Dear Amanda,

Thank you so much for taking such good care of Dara this year. I don’t know what we’d do without you!

Have a happy holiday.


The Howells

How much? That’s a personal decision based on 2 things:

1. Your budget.

2. Your affection and appreciation for the person.

Hand deliver the card if possible. We all know how things can get lost at the barn. Oh and by the way, anyone who receives a cash gift, should write a thank-you note to the giver. We’ll talk about that after the holidays. Do you have a holiday etiquette question? Post it in the comments and I’ll answer it.