You can’t have a Lao birthday party with Laotians without cash gifts. Growing up, that is all you ever got as birthday presents. You know you’re going to a Lao birthday party when you’re stuffing an envelope with cash just as you’re getting ready to head out the door. Guests at Lao weddings, kids birthdays, and even funerals, always know the drill – cash money is the standard. Registry in Laos? Yeah, right!
In American social grace, it is poor etiquette to give money in lieu of a gift. They say it’s bad taste and disrespectful. They also say that it takes away the magic of surprise and thoughtfulness. I, as a frequent patron of Laotian celebrations, say that there are many great advantages to providing money as a gift. Here is your guide to the advantages of gifting cash money like a Laotian:
Advantage #1: Gifting money saves you time.
Don’t even lie – you have bought a gift on the way to that said event. I’m guilty of it too, it’s even made me late to the parties! Money saves you a trip to the store and it’s two easy steps:
1. Stuff envelope with cash or check written to guest(s) of honor.
2. Write name of guest(s) of honor on envelope. DONE!
If you want to get real fancy, you can stuff it in a nice envelope or something. Who are we kidding? Let’s keep it simple, stupid.
Advantage #2: Money has more than one use.
I did make a wedding registry, when one of my mother-in-law’s friends wanted to get us a gift (they’re from the South) and gifted a cutlery set. Before this, I literally had four forks, four spoons, and my demo set from when I sold CutCo knives after high school. True story. While I love that I have real butter knives now, it can only go so far. I can’t buy gas with my spoons nor can I pay for parking with an ultra fancy serrated edge. Got change from breaking that $20? You can do laundry or get a soda machine pop! Money is a jack of all trades!
Advantage #3: Money is eco-friendly.
Rather than have a bunch of trash to throw away, envelopes and money are more socially conscious. Money is paper; paper come from trees; trees are for hugging. Therefore you’re an honorary hippie/Laotian when you gift money. Even if you’re not green, just think about how your gift will be the most neatly packaged without any annoying tape.
Advantage #4: Money saves you the lack of thoughtfulness on the gift.
Sure, you could spend countless hours thinking of the perfect gift but why risk it and fail? Just give him a chunk of change and let the recipient choose what they really want. Maybe they really want to make a trip to the liquor store to celebrate? (I don’t judge) Your gift will make all their drunk dreams come true and they’ll thank you for contributing to a good night out or in, wherever their sorrows take them. Money is very thoughtful – thought just comes from the person receiving it!
Advantage #5: EVERYBODY likes money.
If you have those people in your life that are difficult to “shop” for, then your answer is a gift card! WRONG. The right answer is cash money. There is just something very appealing with the smell of green paper and ease of use. I don’t know anybody who can’t use some cash, unless your friends are crackheads then get them the damn gift card. Be confident that your gift will never need a gift receipt, ’nuff said.
Note: Friends and family, we appreciate your kindness and gifts. Humnoy had an amazing birthday party with lots of great items!
How do you buy gifts for those difficult-to-buy-for friends and family? How do you feel about giving money? To children?