Giving someone money can be a mixed bag. Sometimes people prefer as they can obviously use it to buy exactly what they want, store and so on. Other people see the selection of a gift as a sign of care and show how well you know and consider the recipient. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with giving or wanting a gift. But at a time when people are struggling to avoid evictions, bring food to the table, and perhaps would like not to take on another shift of gig work, giving someone money to meet the need is a way of doing this and perhaps relieving the mental stress of trying to survive a pandemic in a country that doesn't provide help to its people often enough.
The best way to know if cash is valued? Just ask. Or put a bit in a card or send it through a money sharing app. If you want something more personal than cash, another great option is to get a gift card at a local shop or restaurant as small businesses obviously need every boost they can get.
If you are uncomfortable or uncomfortable with the amount of money you can offer someone this season, giving people a little work as a gift may also be more enjoyable than giving an item. Like what Assuming you're in a COVID-19 capsule or already in place together, you can help by doing extra chores or maintenance at home, cooking or baking, preparing meals from pantry staples, or volunteering for report a child or pet Give loved ones some free time.
A major caveat here, of course, is that sometimes people simply prefer traditional gifts. And that's okay! Even people who are struggling financially (be it because of the pandemic or not) absolutely deserve to have fun, have hobbies, and get new things. The suggestion about cash is just a reminder that you don't have to thoughtlessly give someone an item just because social norms dictate it, especially at a time when so many people are facing economic stress and instability. And in this context, a reminder that people who are not resident in your community are also your neighbors. If you have the resources, consider giving to those in your community who suffer the most and with the least resources.
Big corporations will continue to drive capitalism this holiday season, but consumers can choose not to – or at least take those dollars locally.