Cashing in for a Different Way of Christmas: CHS students and staff assess the advantages and disadvantages of receiving cash instead of traditional gifts during Christmas

Darrell Cheng

When Christmas approaches, images of family, embellished trees and gifts come to mind. However, a trend not only at CHS, but also nationwide, has brought upon a new, more common type of present: cash. For senior Omid Hessaraki, receiving cash for Christmas in the place of traditional gifts is by no means foreign to him  during this time of year.

“Every Christmas, I usually just get cash for Christmas,” Hessaraki said. “It’s been that way for good amount of years.”

According to Hessaraki, he prefers cash as his Christmas gift instead of traditional presents because of the various advantages it provides.

“I think getting cash instead of a material present is more preferable mainly because with that money, I can buy whatever I want,” Hessaraki said. “Not only does it provide guaranteed satisfaction, but also I can save that money for later to buy things in the future.”

In similar views to Hessaraki, senior Pratim Moulik also believes that cash is a more preferable present during the holidays, given its advantages.

“Although I typically get clothes for Christmas, I actually would prefer cash instead,” Moulik said. “There’s a lot of advantages when receiving cash as your Christmas gift. For instance, you can buy whatever you want with that money, so you are guaranteed you get something you want given your budget.”

According to biology teacher Eric Rauch, he also believes that there are various advantages in providing cash as the main Christmas present. However, he said he still gives his children traditional presents nonetheless.

“Having kids of my own, I can see the many advantages that cash presents have. But, I still like to stick with traditional presents,” Rauch said. “For one, it’s much easier to just hand cash to your kids, rather than thinking of what to get them. Secondly, giving cash gifts will teach you financial responsibility in determining how to spend and budget that money most wisely.”

In addition, Rauch said there are a few disadvantages to consider concerning cash presents as well.

“Giving cash presents though, does have its negatives,” Rauch said. “Mainly, giving cash presents ruins the surprise factor when giving a gift. During Christmas it is traditionally fun for the kids because they get to open up their gifts that they have no idea what they are.”

Likewise with Rauch, Hessaraki also said that there are disadvantages in cash presents.

“One big problem with cash presents is that the personal aspect of gift-giving is lost,” Hessaraki said. “The cash present doesn’t really seem that genuine of a present and it doesn’t hold that much sentimental value or surprises.”

In similar views to both Rauch and Hessaraki, Moulik said that a big problem of cash gifts during Christmas is it eliminates the surprise factor of the gift.

“Usually during Christmas, children are really excited to see what gifts they get,” Moulik said. “But with cash gifts, it really ruins the surprise aspect for the children.”

Despite cash gift’s disadvantages however, Hessaraki said he still continues to prefer cash over traditional presents during Christmas simply because of all the convenience it provides for him.

“I’m always going to prefer cash gifts over traditional gifts  because I know I’m able to get exactly I want, when I want.”