Some people consider money (in the form of a personal check or cash) a rather lazy or impersonal form of gift. However, for people who hope to buy a specific item, money is most welcome. Young people particularly are quite happy to have money to spend, so it is appropriate for birthday gifts, graduation gifts and wedding gifts, enclosed in the appropriate greeting card. Once people grow older and enter retirement, money again becomes an attractive gift, since many seniors already have enough “things” and are on limited budgets. For them, a check for a nice dinner somewhere would be welcome indeed.
If you would like to give an actual present for a birthday, Christmas, or congratulations for an achievement, you are usually safe with a book, CDs, something for the kitchen or dining room table, a picture in a frame or a gift certificate at a local department store.