First, we'll address the elephant in the room.
Hello, Elephant. Thanks for joining us. On a weekday. And I'm blogging. I realize that's odd. In fact, it hasn't happened since September. Once every six months isn't bad, right? But I'm glad you were able to join us for this special occasion.
Ok, can we move on now? I'd like to have a discussion.
My question is one of gracious gift receiving and obligation.
My birthday is at a time in the semi-future and a family member has sent me a cash gift. This isn't a family member I'm particularly close to in terms of relationship, though the branches on the family tree would indicate otherwise. (I suppose that applies to most of my family.) I say this mainly to indicate that this person is old-school and doesn't send the gift so much because they adore me but because in their day and age (they're older), their social norm dictates that this is the proper amount to send for a gift for me on this occasion. Not to say that I'm not thankful to receive the gift because he isn't required to give me anything and many don't.
His expectation is that I use the gift to buy a fancy dinner for me and my husband (the gift giver emphasizes fancy). It's not a big enough amount to do that - but it is enough that I could spend an afternoon lost in a used bookstore or shopping for myself or doing something else I would rarely do but really enjoy.
So the options are:
- Go somewhere "eh" for a meal with my husband that the gift will pay in full.
- Put the gift towards a fancy dinner, make up the difference ourselves (we can afford this, it wouldn't be a burden).
- Spend the gift entirely on me in some indulgent way that would bring me great joy.
I know as a gift-giver, I may have an idea in mind of how someone would use a gift when I give them cash and I might make a suggestion ("I thought you might want to buy some more craft supplies but know you like a couple of local shops" or "Maybe you'd like to buy a new game for Collin."). But ultimately, it's up to them to decide how they want to spend a cash gift. If I feel so strongly about them spending it somewhere specific, I make sure I buy a gift card to a specific merchant. Otherwise, all bets are off.
Let's chat in the comments!