Why I’m Giving Them Cash


I am giving my children cash for gifts this year. 


Honestly, just seeing it in print pangs me a little bit. So, I permit you to be judgy because I’m being a little judgy about myself.

Let me defend myself here. 

My son, Beau, is a 20-year-old junior in college. 

He has clothes, shoes, bedding, and even some things on his apartment walls in college. He doesn’t need a darn thing. Except, he needs food. He also needs gas. He also needs to go off for a weekend with his buddies to build those precious memories that he treasures. I footed the bill on a spring break trip last year because those boys NEEDED it. Yes, need vs. want (I’ve taught 3rd-grade social studies, I understand the difference). Let me tell you, after Zoom, blackboard, blah blah blah, those boys NEEDED to drive to Gulf Shores, Alabama. They needed to split an Airbnb among 8 of them, and they needed to feel the sand under their feet and feel the spray of the ocean on their faces.

My daughter, Abby, is a 19-year-old freshman in college. 

She has clothes, access her roommate’s clothes, and her suitemate’s clothes and shoes, a dorm over her head. She. Has. All. The. Things. She is fortunate. She doesn’t need another Lululemon Align cropped top (even if it IS in Sonic Pink – #IFYKYK). Anyhoo, do you want to know what this kid NEEDS? Memories with her friends. What does that look like for her? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a boost in her portion of sorority dues. Perhaps it’s a coffee date at 7Brews. Perhaps it’s a pair of hiking boots so they can spend some weekends exploring Northwest Arkansas. Perhaps it’s extra gas money to drive a friend home and spend some time with their family. I don’t know. But I don’t want her NOT to have the opportunity to DO something.

If COVID has taught me anything, it is the importance of LIVING. Enjoy your friends… Enjoy your family… Enjoy your experiences… Live your life.

Disclaimer: Will I give them $20 bills in their wrapped gifts? No. I will give them cute little cards that I will create in google docs and wrap them up. I will make silly ‘Venmo’ cards and wrap them up in big boxes. I will still be creative and fun and throw in a few silly gifts that I know they’ll enjoy (socks, a case of Celsius, Protein Powder)….. But mostly, it’ll be discretionary funds.

Beau, Abby…. If you are reading this. I apologize that there won’t be a lot of surprises for you this year. 

But I’m so proud of you both for living your best lives. Create memories. Create experiences. Love your people.